Kentucky Tourism
Back to Articles

Gotta Get Goetta Sausage– a Cultural Culinary Celebration



Cincinnati might claim to be the home of goetta sausage(based on consumers) but the largest commercial producer of goetta in the world is Glier’s Goetta located just across the Ohio River in Covington. Glier’s produces more than one million pounds of goetta annually and hosts the annual Glier’s Goettafest in August at Newport’s Riverfront Levee.

Covington, Kentucky also serves up a three-day goetta festival earlier in the year – the annual MainStrasse Village “Original” Goettafest held each June.

What is Goetta?
“Get-uh,” a German breakfast sausage, is typically a blend of ground pork and beef with steel cut or pinhead oats, seasoned with onion and spices and slow-cooked daily.

A staple of Northern Kentucky diets, goetta is a favorite regional recipe of the German immigrants who were drawn to the fertile Ohio River Valley and settled in Northern Kentucky (and Cincinnati) in the 1880s.

Bob Glier started working at his family’s butcher shop in Newport as a youngster in the 1920s. In the 1960s, Bob’s son Dan joined the business and together they came to the conclusion that Goetta was the most popular and best-selling item. Glier’s Meats became focused on Glier’s Goetta.

The Goettafest was a suggestion by the younger Glier, a graduate of Eastern Kentucky University, as a way to reward their loyal customers and to find out if anyone would attend a one-day festival focusing on goetta. They hoped for a thousand or two customers to attend the 2001 party held adjacent to MainStrasse Village and ended up with nearly 6,000. Today the four-day festival, held at Newport’s Riverfront Levee since 2005, is expected to draw 200,000 attendees from all 50 states and some three dozen countries, too!

Where Can I Find Goetta?
If you’ve missed out on the goetta festivities, your choices are to order it direct from Glier’s by calling 800-446-3882; order from the menu at Colonial Cottage Inn in Erlanger, Green Derby Restaurant in Newport and Frisch’s Big Boy Restaurants around the state; or purchase it from most major food retailers and prepare it yourself.

Now that you know what is in goetta sausage, here’s how to cook it: slice then fry (crispy on the outside but soft in the middle) and serve with jelly, apple butter, maple syrup or ketchup. Delicious, nutritious and not just for breakfast anymore!