During the construction of the Blue Blood Brewing Co.’s new space near a series of underground tunnels in Lincoln, founder Brian Podwinski knew there were bats.

But he wanted to bring in experts to determine exactly what was going on in Robber’s Cave.

Among the three species of bats found by retired bat biologist Cliff Lemen was the northern long-eared bat, which is listed as a threatened species by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and could become endangered.

The bats are currently hibernating in Robber’s Cave.

“We want to make sure they can maintain their hibernation, because if we were to try to force them out now, they could run out of energy stores and die,” Podwinski said.

Podwinski said the bats won’t affect his plans much.

He’s delaying work in the cave until March 11, around the end of the bats’ hibernation time, and at that time the bats will be moved to one specific area of the cave.

The entrance to the cave is under the southeast corner of the brewery. The cave will be an event space as well as a spot for aging beers.

Podwinski plans to build a “bat fence” to protect the bats from human interaction so that people on cave tours will be able to view them without disturbing them.

Blue Blood Brewing Co.’s new brewery is slated to open in mid-April. The current location is still open at 500 W. South St. in Lincoln.

Contact the writer: 402-444-1149, andrea.k@owh.com, twitter.com/andreaksz

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