The German Breakfast Sausage Containing Nutritious Steel Cut Oats.
The historical Goetta Factory Building
"The historical Goetta Factory Building from the 1880's to the present."
"Originally built as part of a brewery."

WHERE IT ALL BEGAN

1946 Covington, Kentucky

This is a story of generations of meat cutters and sausage makers; a story rooted in the 19th century and still going strong into the 21st. In 1946 Robert Glier returned home from World War II. Upon returning Robert bought a small store with a sausage kitchen and a smokehouse. Since he has trained in his families butcher shop as a youth, he felt right at home. Robert made sausages as his wife, Louise, assisted customers. In the winter months Robert created his version of a celebrated regional dish of pork, beef, steel-cut oats, and seasoning. Somewhat similar to sausage and scrapple this regional specialty is called “Goetta.” Which was originated in the late 1800’s, Goetta later became the cornerstone of Gliers Meats, Inc.

With hard work and fine products, the shop grew. In the mid 50’s, increased demand allowed Robert to wholesale other markets. In the 60’s Gliers Meats became even larger, adding a full meat processing facility and expanded the sausage kitchen. In 1972 Roberts son, Dan, who worked at the business before going to college, joined his father full time. Five years later in 1977 Dan assumed the presidency of Gliers Meats and still remains today. Under Dan’s leadership Gliers Meats continues to grow and evolve, winning a reputation for exceptional specialty items. In addition to lunch meats and linked sausage items. Yet even today, goetta remains the product most associated with the Gliers name. More recently Dan’s son, David, has joined his father in the meat business, ensuring the continued family ownership of Gliers Meats going into the third generation, which spans over 70 years.

A History of Glier’s Meats

1925: Bob Glier (12 years old) starts working after school and weekends for his uncle, Pete Yung, in the family butcher shop on Monmouth St. Newport, Ky.

Mid 1930’s: Bob works on developing his own goetta recipe.

1938-1942: Bob Glier works at H.H. Meyer Packing Co., Partridge Meats, in Cincinnati, OH. He was hired on as “kitchen helper” but due to his keen interest in the art of sausage making, progresses on to be an apprentice to the Master Sausage Maker.
Bob’s brother, Bill Glier becomes owner of Peter Yung & Co. meats.

1942-1946: Bob Glier serves in US Army Air Corps during World War II.

1944: While serving as mess Sergeant in England, Bob serves a Partridge Ham to the Airmen who proclaim it to be the best ham ever. Bob sends a note with the ham wrapper bag back to H.H. Meyer thanking all the employees for the fine product. This was proudly kept and displayed in the company archives until H.H. Meyer Packing Co. was closed.

1946: Bob returns home, gets married to Louise Daniel and buys a retail butcher shop with a small sausage kitchen in the back. The butcher shop is located at 439 Pike St in Covington, Ky., there he begins making and selling his own sausages and goetta.

1946-1966: Goetta is manufactured only in the “cold months”. Production begins after Labor Day in the fall and ends on Memorial Day in the spring.

1954 & later: Glier’s sells goetta and sausages wholesale to other meat shops and stores in Northern Kentucky. Slabs of goetta are wrapped in the traditional “orange” butcher paper and tied closed with strings. Other stores often sell Glier’s goetta as their own “Home-made Goetta”.

1961: The business is incorporated with the name, Glier’s Meats Inc. Dan Glier (12 years old) starts working Saturdays and summers.

1961-1965: Glier’s Goetta is sold in 1 pound retail packages over-wrapped and sealed in plastic shrink wrap but short shelf life is a problem.

1963: Glier’s Meats Inc. becomes a Kentucky State Inspected meat processing plant. Unable to meet the demand for Glier’s Goetta with the existing goetta kitchen (daily production about 525 lbs). Glier’s remodels part of the basement of 439 Pike St and is able to over double production to about 1200 pounds per day.

 

1964: Bob Glier buys an old dairy building and opens a second “Goetta Factory” on Gordon St. in Cincinnati, Oh. He begins goetta distribution in Ohio under State Inspection. Stands like Russ Gibbs in the Findlay Market begin to sample and sell Glier’s Goetta.

Mid 1960’s: UDSA begins to recognize and develop standards of identity for locally produced meat products. USDA interviews Bob Glier on his goetta recipe and uses it in developing their standards for the product.

1965: Bob Glier works with TeePac (a large national packaging company) on developing a double wound saran package. This package could be printed on the middle layer, could be filled with hot product, (thus insuring greater food safety and longer shelf life) and still shrink and remain tight when the product cooled, the perfect package for his goetta. Production of Glier’s Goetta in the now familiar Chub-Pac or roll is begun.

1966: With the much improved product safety and longer shelf life provided by the new packaging, year-round Goetta production is begun. Slab goetta packaging takes a step forward and now uses a custom made, preprinted, glassine lined paper bag.

1966-1967: Recognizing the need for more uniform regulations and improved meat safety, the meat industry (lead by the American Meat Institute), USDA and Congress work together to pass the 1967 Wholesome Meat Act. This leads to major changes in the industry and inspection program especially the requirement that state inspection is to be “equal to” Federal (USDA) inspection.

1966: Realizing the difficulty in maintaining and operating two separate production plants in two states, Bob Glier looks to consolidate operations in one much larger facility. By early 1967 he has purchased the Hannakin Dairy/Bavarian Brewery building located at 533 W. 11th St. in Covington, Ky.

1967: Remodeling is begun with the intention of remaining state inspected but with the anticipated passage of the 1967 Wholesome Meat Act the decision is made to upgrade the facilities to meet the much more rigorous requirements of USDA inspection. New drawings are prepared for the plant and after working with the local USDA office an emergency trip to USDA Headquarters in Washington, DC is made to have the final plans approved. The changes required to meet the new USDA specifications result in an over doubling the remodeling project’s cost.

Spring 1968: Production and wholesale distribution is moved to the new plant, the retail store on Pike St. remains open. The new plant has a room dedicated to goetta production. Operating at full capacity, Glier’s can now produce 2100 pounds a day.
On August 6, 1968,  Glier’s Meats Inc. becomes USDA Inspected Establishment 2139.

1969: After over three-quarters of a century of operation but now unable to meet the requirements of the Wholesome Meat Act, Bob’s brother, Bill Glier, decides to close Yung & Company. The two companies are merged under the Glier’s Meats Inc. name. Long-term employees Willie Frietch, Dan Schoultheis and Jim Leopold come from Yung’s to Glier’s.

1970: After nearly a quarter century, Glier’s closes the Pike St. retail store.

1972: Dan Glier graduates from Eastern Kentucky Univ. and joins his father, Bob, in the business. He is assigned to different departments to “learn the business”. Dan is sent to the Frick Refrigeration School in Pennsylvania, attends a class on Modern Sausage Production and Evaluation put on by the Meat Science Lab at the Univ. of Kentucky and attends several seminars/classes held by The American Meat Institute. Glier’s Meats becomes a founding member of the Kentucky Meat Processors Association. York Varney, a meat science professor at UK is the Executive Secretary.

1974: Bob and Dan Glier develop a 5 year plan in which Dan is to be mentored in all facets of the business with the intention of being able to take over the day-to-day operations by the end of the decade.

1976-1977: Bob Glier becomes too ill to direct daily operations. Dan Glier steps in and with the Bob’s coaching and the help of many dedicated and long term employees is able to continue operations. Dan Glier is named President. Dan Glier is asked to serve on the Board of Directors of the Kentucky Meat Processors Association, KMPA

1977: Dan Glier marries EKU graduate and Louisville native, Elizabeth MacDonald.

1978: Company founder, former President and Master Sausage Maker, Bob Glier passes away.

1978: After several years of attending the annual Convention in Chicago and numerous classes, Glier’s Meats joins the American Meat Institute as member #271.

1979: With her Food Science background, Elizabeth Glier establishes the Quality Control Lab and works with plant personnel to improve meat safety and sanitation.

1981-1985: Elizabeth Glier is asked to serve on the Consumer Affairs Committee of the American Meat Institute.

1982: Glier’s adds 2000 square feet of refrigerated space including a new processing area, enclosed loading dock and meat storage area. Seeing the need for improved efforts in Quality Control and meat safety, Merry Hinds is hired as full time QC Lab Tech, a position that later develops into QC and HACCP coordinator.

1984: In a major change in packaging, Glier’s Goetta slabs are now sold in a vacuum package. This new package adds considerably to the shelf life and food safety of this most traditional form of Glier’s Goetta.

1985-1987: The Meat Industry is facing major changes in the distribution of beef. Carcass beef or as it is commonly known, swinging beef, becomes increasingly difficult to obtain. “Boxed Beef” becomes widely accepted as the preferred method of distribution. In a short period both of Glier’s suppliers of carcass beef go out of business due to the competition of the large “Boxed Beef” suppliers.

1988: After numerous customer requests Glier’s makes a change to its original Goetta recipe! Additional spices and Red Pepper is added and Glier’s *Hot* Goetta is introduced in the now familiar1# roll or chub pack.

1988-1989: Having served on the Board of Directors for over a decade, Dan Glier becomes President of KMPA. Finding lots of common interests between the two groups and strength in numbers, KMPA, lead by Dan Glier and the Tennessee Meat Processors Association, lead by Larry Odom of Odom’s Tennessee Pride Sausage Company merge to form the Kentucky-Tennessee Meat Processors Association with Earl McNabb as Executive Secretary. To allow members from surrounding states to join the organization this group later becomes the Central States Meat Processors Association.

1989: After the successful launch of the *Hot* Goetta, Glier’s again responds to customer requests and introduces the all Beef Goetta. This was in response to customers who loved Goetta but for dietary or religious reasons could not have their Goetta with pork as an ingredient.

1992-1996: Glier’s largest customer, ARA-Woodhaven Foods slowly gets out of the meat distribution business. This loss has severe financial consequences for Glier’s. Over this period employment and sales are reduced by over 25%. Glier’s responds by beginning to custom manufacture sausage products for other outlets. Bob Glier’s recipes of high quality and tasty sausages and Cincinnati’s many festivals prove to be a successful match.

1994: After attending a very worthwhile convention in Louisville, Glier’s Meats joins the American Association of Meat Processors. This group is made of mostly small and medium sized processors and caters to the concerns and problems faced by the small meat processor.

1996: Following in his father and grand father’s footsteps, Dan Glier’s son David (13) starts working summers and breaks in the meat business.

1997:  Responding the public’s demand for very low-fat products and after nearly a year in product development, Glier’s introduces Glier’s Low-Fat Goetta. This product required considerable development time to get the texture and flavor profile to closely resemble the popular Original Goetta. This same product later is relabeled Glier’s Turkey Goetta to better reflect its meat component.

1998: In the family tradition, Michael Glier (13) begins working summers and brakes with his father and brother in the meat business.

1999: Working with a Business Coach, the Glier’s management team is forced to determine and evaluate the company’s strengths and weaknesses. The question was asked, “What does Glier’s do well and can that strength be molded into a workable business plan.” Without hesitation it is determined that Glier’s Goetta should be the company’s primary focus.

2000: In an effort to encourage Goetta consumption at meals other than the traditional weekend breakfast, a new preparation of Goetta is created. In three different forms it could now be micro waved or prepared on the grill. New packaging for these products was far different from the more traditional packages. Goetta Bun Links, aka Goetta Dogs and Goetta Sandwich Slices, aka Goetta Burgers could be easily prepared out on the grill without falling apart as the traditional Goetta would. The Mini Links could also be taken out to the grill but found greater acceptance as a quick on-the-run microwave breakfast. Creative cooks found them to be a great snack type food. Heat them up and serve with a favorite dipping sauce, Cincinnati Goetta Wings was created!

2000: Seeing the advantages of forming a strong regional meat processors association the members of the Mid-States Meat Association and the Ohio Meat Processors Association join together and form the Central States Meat Association, CSMA. The membership reelects Dan Glier to the Board of Directors.

2001: The first Glier’s Goettafest is held in the Goeble Park adjacent to the Mainstrasse Village. Not knowing what to expect with this one day event, Glier’s and their several vendors prepared for attendance of a hoped for 2000-3000. By early afternoon attendance exceeded this and after a brief rain shower, Glier’s was able to re-supply all the food vendors. It was estimated that over 6000 had attended the First Glier’s Goettafest.
Glier’s Goetta lovers really are the BEST!!

2002: Dan Glier is asked to serve on the Meat Inspection and Governmental Affairs Committee of the American Meat Processors Association

2004: Recognizing the limitations of other venues, Glier’s Goettafest is moved to the newly build Festival Park at Newport on the Levee. Attendance at the now three day event swells to over 30,000. Goettafest is recognized as one of the region’s premier events.

2004: Dan Glier is elected by the national membership to serve on the Board of Directors of the American Association of Meat Processors.

2006: The Glier’s Goetta Calliope is introduced to several Greater Cincinnati parades. Making its first appearance in the St. Patrick’s Day parade and followed shortly thereafter by the Cincinnati Reds Opening Day Parade, the calliope with its up-beat or patriotic music is well received by those in attendance.

2007: The estimated attendance at Glier’s Goettafest passes the 50,000 mark for the first time. The festival is recognized for its great success by the nationally distributed Meat & Poultry Magazine with a four page, color feature article.

2008: Dan Glier is asked to participate in a small business forum at the White House in Washington, DC. The dozen or so participants of this group are all small business people who have taken advantage of the President’s tax cuts and are asked by President Bush how this has positively impacted their business. After the meeting we are all invited into the Oval Office for a brief, informal chat with the President.

2008: The National Association of Manufactures, who had arranged Dan Glier’s participation the small business forum, asked him to become a member of the Board of Directors. He attends his first meeting that fall in the midst of great economic chaos.

2008: The annual convention of the American Association of Meat Processors is held in Cincinnati for the first time in over 30 years. All employees of Glier’s Meats are able to attend the national meeting. Having served four years on the Board of Directors of the Association, Dan Glier is elected 1st Vice-President.

2008: Despite unusually hot weather Goettafest 2008, is a rousing success. It is estimated that between 60,000 and 65,000 attend the annual event.

2009: David Glier a recent graduate of Northern Kentucky University decides to join the family business and thus becomes the third generation of Glier’s in the meat business.

2009: Recognizing the value of parade participation, a Segway is purchased. This allows David Glier to lead cheers for and toss out rolls of Glier’s Goetta to the parade watchers.
This activity soon becomes one of the favorite promotional efforts for the crowd lining the streets along the parade route.

2009: Building on past successes, Goettafest 2009 has grown to be one of the top Greater Cincinnati Festivals. The three day event draws an estimated 120,000 people from all 50 states and over 30 countries.

2010-2011; Dan Glier becomes President of the American Association of Meat Processors. This Association is the largest meat trade organization in the US and is made up of over 1500 mostly small and very small businesses.

2010: Now in the 6th year at Newport’s Riverfront Festival Park and becoming a four day event, estimated attendance at Glier’s Goettafest exceeds 150,000 for the first time.

FAQ

Pronounced “get-uh,” Goetta is a German breakfast sausage that blends the textures and flavors of pork, beef, whole grain steel-cut oats, fresh onions, and spices. It is slow-cooked daily and perfectly prepared when browned and served. Producing over one million pounds of Goetta each year, Glier’s Goetta is the best selling Goetta in the world.
During the 1880s, waves of German immigrants were drawn to the fertile Ohio River valley that is Northern Kentucky/Greater Cincinnati. The new community laid roots and flourished in the area. Along with many other elements of their culture, the Germans brought their favorite dish – Goetta – with them. Just like it is in their homeland, Goetta is a regional recipe.
First, slice the Goetta into half-inch patties. Making sure they do not touch each other (to be sure they will not stick together), place the patties in a non-stick skillet that has been preheated to a medium temperature, 350 degrees. Let cook for about 6 minutes, allowing the first side to brown completely. Flip, and brown the other side until crisp. When both sides are golden brown, the Goetta is ready to enjoy.
Steel-cut, or pinhead, oats are the secret ingredient to delicious Glier’s Goetta. The simple, unprocessed whole grain oats are high in fiber and protein, low in calories, rich in Vitamin-B, and a huge contributor to the fact that Glier’s Goetta is completely free of trans fats. Not to mention, they’re delicious. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) asserts that diets rich in whole grain foods are low in total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol and may reduce the risk of some cancers. Learn more about pinhead oats and their benefits on our Nutrition page.
While most Goetta fans are delighted by a simple crispy brown serving as a standout side to good ol’ fashioned eggs, Goetta omelets, Goetta grilled cheese sandwiches, and Goetta ruebens are also popular. The continuing Goetta taste controversy is whether it’s better topped with ketchup or syrup!
Glier’s Goetta is available at many retailers located in the Northern Kentucky/Greater Cincinnati area including: Kroger, Sam’s, Wal-Mart, Meijer, and Jungle Jims. Our Goetta is also served at many restaurants around the area; Frisch’s, Perkin’s, Mokka Restaurant, Price Hill Chili. To Glier’s Goetta fans not in the area, it is available for purchase through Cincinnati Favorites.
Glier’s Goetta’s Original one-pound rolls are the most popular. To learn more about all of our delicious varieties, click here.
Founded in 2001, Glier’s Goettafest is a celebration of all things goetta, and the generations of families and friends who adore it. The free event during the first weekend of August is located along the Ohio River at Newport on the Levee, includes continuous live entertainment, and features over 30 clever and creative new recipes each year. Revelers come hungry for everything from Goetta pizza to Goetta fudge brownies.
Unopened, refrigerated Original Goetta has a four-month shelf life; Turkey Goetta has a two-month shelf life. The Slab and Mini Slab are good for 40 days; the Bun Links and Patties, 21 days. Glier’s Goetta can easily be frozen as well.
Yes! Glier’s Goetta is shipped by our friends at Cincy Favorites every day. It may be ordered online at CincyFavorites.com or by calling 800-446-3882. Your Glier’s Goetta will be packed in a foam cooler with dry ice, and shipped to you the following business day.
Glier’s Goetta is happy to donate our very popular Goetta Survival Kit – including a Glier’s Goetta recipe book, t-shirt, and Glier’s Goettafest mug – to fundraisers throughout the community. We are also proud to serve free samples of our Goetta Sliders at charity events like the local Heart Mini Marathon, Flying Pig Marathon, Hyde Park Blast, and Komen Race for the Cure.
Oktoberfest Brand is proudly sold at local Sam’s Clubs and select Kroger’s. You can also order them online at CincyFavorites.com. The sausage that started the Gliers’ Family business in 1946 is also featured annually at Oktoberfest Zinzinnati.

TESTIMONIALS

Family Bonding Food

“I am a 34 year old Northern KY native and Glier’s Goetta has been part of our weekend morning ritual for all of my life. I am a parent of four now and am proud to say that my children have inherited my love of Goetta. I make this for our family for breakfast almost every weekend and have found it has developed into sort of a game.

While I am cooking breakfast (we are a two tube (Goetta) family now), the kids like to sneak up and mooch the cooked Goetta from the plate while I am not looking (or at least pretending not to). The first tube is typically the mooched portion while the second actually makes it on our plates.

We really enjoy going to the Goettafest each year and have picked up a couple of ideas from the assortment of different dishes at the festival. I personally like to put my Goetta and a sunny side up egg between two pieces of buttered toast. Occasionally, I like to chop the Goetta and mix it in with scrambled eggs.

Baby’s First Words

Recently, my wife and I adopted a baby girl from China. During the first week back home, I took our new daughter Ellie to the grocery store with me and told her all about the marvels of Goetta. That weekend, when I made it for her for the first time, she said her first word in English... Goetta!

Thank you for being a part of our Saturday mornings and now for being a part of Ellie’s transition into life within our family.”

Brian Bennings, Goetta Evangelist

Press quotes

  • Go Ahead – Have a slice. Before there was Cincinnati chili, cheese coneys and Graeter’s ice cream, there was Goetta. Simmered and fried by German immigrants well over a century ago, this pork based breakfast food is Cincinnati’s own."

    Chuck Martin
    Cincinnati Enquirer
  • Goetta continues to exist not out of necessity, but as tradition. And because it’s yummy. It also continues to exist because of Glier’s.

    Jason Cohen
    Cincinnati Magazine
  • When I came to Cincinnati, I was urged to sample its many treasures. Big-league baseball. Downtown shopping. Chili with mysterious properties. Ice cream with chocolate chips the size of manhole covers.
    And there was something else, something ominous, something called goetta. It was pronounced GET-a, and everybody but me was having it for breakfast. And liking it.

    Laura Pulfer
    The Cincinnati Enquirer
  • Goetta has become much more than just a breakfast food in the Greater Cincinnati region. Pizza, burritos, calzones, Reubens, meatloaf, lasagna, spaghetti pie, sandwiches, meatballs, wontons, and much more can be made with goetta.
    Chez Nora in Covington features smoked chicken and goetta spring rolls on its menu. County Seat in Burlington and Mokka in Newport often create specials as an opportunity to serve it as more than a side dish at breakfast. Colonial Cottage’s chef is currently working on a goetta stuffing recipe.

    Prep Magazine
  • They have their own street, their own recipes, their own trademarked gear and even a one-of-a-kind specialized (goetta) vending machine, so why not their very own festival (Glier’s Goettafest)?

    Allison Momeyer
    Around Cincy.com
  • Ohio and Money magazines have recently featured stories about goetta, and late last year, editors of highbrow foodie pub Saveur named Goetta as one of their “100 Favorite Foods, Places and Things.” That’s pretty incredible considering those editors live in New York, and no doubt just learned to spell goetta.

    Chuck Martin
    Cincinnati Enquirer
  • What is it about the mixture of pork, beef, oatmeal, and spices that claims a place in the hearts of Cincinnati’s German-American population?
    Traditionally eaten as a breakfast food, goetta is now served at all mealtimes meat markets, the main company producing goetta is Glier’s Meats of Covington, producing more than one million pounds annually at its Goetta Place address, the largest goetta plant in the United States.

    Don Heimrich Tolzmann
    German Life Magazine
  • Voted Top Ten Kentucky Festival or Event
    Glier’s Goettafest

    Awarded by: The Kentucky Tourism Council
  • Goettafest is a terrific way to get everyone together to try new and familiar goetta dishes and be entertained. Goettafest is like a big Family reunion.

    Jessica Noll
    KY Post.com
  • Glier’s has been making goetta at its shop for 61 years; always the same recipe of pork, beef, broth, oats, and spices. It is a hands-on process. Five hours of slow cooking, in two parts, with lots of stirring.

    Cincinnati Business Journal
  • Washington: The owner of Glier’s Meats, the largest commercial producer of goetta, met with President Bush on Monday. The President’s first question: “What is Goetta?”

    Marlia Rulon
    Enquirer.com
  • Goetta is very versatile. It can be served as a side dish with eggs or cooked in scrambled eggs or omelets. Some people try goetta patties and serve them with catsup, syrup, or applesauce. People also use goetta in stuffing
    and casseroles.