The Theo Gier Co. (ca. 1892-1910)

(click on the photo to see a larger image)

The Theodore Gier Co. gave us one of the best-known and beloved whiskey shot glasses (see below) but he also owned a wine company, as evidenced by the wonderfully illustrated litho shown at left.

Theo Gier was born in Germany in 1860.  When he was of age, he joined the tide of Europeans migrating across the Atlantic, arriving in California in 1882.  After having been in the US for only a year,  he set up a grocery store in Oakland: apparently a successful one at that.  Only a decade later, he established a retail and wholesale wine company, as shown in the litho.

John Thomas ("Picnics, Coffins and Shoo-Flies") notes that the company had two outlets.  The retailing business was based at 915 Washington St., while the wholesale operations was located at 515 14th St.  Presumably, the famous "Metropole Whiskey" was introduced during this time,  although we have no records.

        A bottle of Metropole Whiskey is featured in the gorgeous litho at lower right - this is a shot-collectors dream "go-with" because it also shows the famous red/white etched glass!

The Wilsons (Spirits Bottles of the Old West) suggest that Gier was a prominent community figure who also established a bank (The Security and Trust Co.) and helped make the Alameda & Contra Costa counties tunnel possible.

In 1910, Gier's wine and liquor operations were sold and the company dissolved.  All that remains of a once-proud business are these colorful relics...

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