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Wunder Brewery
Wunder Beer

Wunder Brewery Logo

In 1903 Matthew Sylvester O'Brien, age 29, became part-owner of Wunder Brewery in San Francisco, California. In April, 1906, a strong earthquake hit the city, followed by several days of fires. The family of Timothy Griffin and Bridget O'Sullivan needed assistance moving possessions from their house, which was lying in the path of the fire. Matt O'Brien helped load those possessions into his beer wagon. His strong team of horses, accustomed to pulling heavy kegs around the city, hauled the load(s) to the safety of Golden Gate Park. Before they left their house, Bridget Griffin had the family's china buried in the back yard for safety. One of the ten Griffin children was Agnes Margaret, age 20.

On October 3, 1906, Agnes Margaret Griffin and Matt O'Brien married. Matt later became an executive at Ranier Brewery, and Agnes became a local political activist. One of their five children, Aileen, was my wife's mother. Individual pieces of the "earthquake china," which was dug up after the danger had passed, have been passed down to various members of the family.


The circular logo above is a detail from the poster image below. The poster has this notation in the lower right corner:
Here is some information from the reference book American Breweries, by Donald Bull, Manfred Friedrich and Robert Gottschalk, 1984, published by Bullworks, P. O. Box 106, Trumbull, Connecticut 06611, USA. The book indicates that all the names in this sequence belonged to the same brewery, located in San Francisco, California. Wunder Brewing Company is the final name in the sequence.

Philip Frauenholz & Co. (Jacob Gundlach 1852-1856, Wm. Davidson, 1856-1858) 1852-1858
Philip Frauenholz, Bavarian Brewery, aka Scherhold & Frauenholz - 1874-1875 (Vallejo & Green Sts.) 1858-1884
Frauenholz Estate, Bavarian Brewery, aka Anna Maria Frauenholz, Bavaria Brewery 1884-1886
Frederick Schultz and Son, Bavaria Brewery (Vallejo St. and Montgomery Ave.) 1886-1896
Louis Schultz, Bavaria Brewery (Greenwich & Scott Sts.) 1896-1897
Bavaria Brewing Co. 1897-1898
Wunder Brewing Co. 1898-1909

The book also lists a much later Wunder Brewing Co., 2119 Linden St., Oakland CA, from 1934 to 1934 (sic). The listing also indicates that this Wunder Brewing Co. had no federal permit, indicating that it probably never actually brewed any beer. Also listed in the book is a Wunder Brewing Company located in Ohio.

In August, 1998, collector Gary Lord purchased a sepia photograph of eight men seated with a Wunder Beer keg. He subsequently transferred the photograph to the webmaster of this site.

Wunder Beer Men Wunder Beer Men Detail



front of post card
back of post card
San Francisco's WUNDER BREWING COMPANY printed these cards in the late 1890's for the convenience of their customers. This one was purchased from Oakland dealer Ken Katz.

Susan Enoch of Taft, California, has a round metal Wunder Beer sign that is a family heirloom. Its diameter is 18-1/4 inches (46 cm), and it was made by Ingram Richardson of Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania.

Susan Enoch's Wunder Beer Tray Susan Enoch tray, different flash glare location


Wunder Brewery Poster

Dr. Tom Jacobs sent more information about the Wunder Brewery and photos, which you can find here
Later, Chuck F had questions for Tom here.

Dave Parker purchased a metal Wunder Beer sign, and in April 2007 he sent these two photos of it. He reports that it is 16 inches wide, and he isn't certain if it is enamel or porcelain on steel. If you have any information you can contact him at losdave47 -at- netscape -dot- net.:

In October, 2007, the Wunder Brewery name was resurrected. The new company's website was WunderBeer.com. Unfortunately, in June 2008 a reader of Brewpubs said he saw a "For Sale" sign at the Wunder Beer brewpub building. In early July, 2008, the website says "Temporarily CLOSED for Renovations | Keep checking in for more information! | Big News to Follow!"

In February, 2013, William Bradley Gaddy & Nancy Cservak emailed photographs of a Wunder Beer tray had been in the family for over 50 years. They say the tray is 13 inches in diameter, and note that the color is greenish, but have no further information about it. You can right-click on the images below to download the full-size photographs.

Wunder Beer tray Wunder Beer tray closeup

If you have any further information, please sent it to webmaster -AT- swopnet.com

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