Like many small islands in the Caribbean, St. Croix offers it’s own unusual local tourist attractions. Surprisingly, one of our most popular attractions are the beer drinking pigs at the Mt. Pellier Hut Domino Club. Yes, you read correctly! If you stop at the Domino Club, not only can you get yourself a cold beer, but you can buy a round for the resident pigs (non-alcoholic, of course).
Tucked away in the subtropical rainforest of the island’s West End, just off of Route 76, is the Mt. Pellier Hut Domino Club. Known to many residents as ‘Norma’s’ after beloved proprietor Norma George, the property houses a small open-air bar and restaurant and a separate out building that is home to stars of the attraction, the beer drinking pigs. For those of you that are animals lovers, rest assured that Norma and the staff of the Domino Club treat the pigs like family pets. They all have names, they are well fed and cared for, and they are never forced to drink (they only get drink the non-alcoholic beer offerings when they want them).
So, how did the whole beer-drinking-pig thing get started? Over 25 years ago George and Norma, the farmers that own the place, had decided to downsize the number of pigs they were keeping on the farm. They had sold almost all of their pigs, but decided to keep two as pets: Ms. Piggy and Buster Pig. One day, a visitor of George and Norma’s walked passed Buster Pig with a beer in his hand and Buster decided to help himself to a drink! Little did they know that after that day Buster Pig would become a star on the island. As time time went on, people continued to visit George and Norma to have a beer and play some dominoes, and they would give Buster a beer (since he had indicated his love of suds the day he stole his first one). As a result, the Mt. Pellier Hut Domino Club was created and has become one of St. Croix’s most well-known and loved attractions.
When you get to the Domino Club, head to the bar and order a beer for the pigs. While you’re there, do yourself a favor and order one of their house specialties: a shot of the Mama-Wanna (an infused rum made right there on site by Norma herself), or a fresh banana daiquiri. Once you have your O’Doul’s for the pig, one of the lovely staff members will take you up to the hut and introduce you to the pigs. Make sure to listen to the instructions before you step up to the pens (don’t worry, there aren’t many). The fun begins when one of the HUGE pigs jumps up and puts their front legs on the pen door, which means they are ready for a cold one. The pigs will take the whole can of beer right from your hand, chomp on the can with their giant teeth, guzzle the beer, and then spit out the flattened can once they have sucked it dry. They are pigs about it, just as you would imagine!
You have to see this attraction live in person to really get the full effect! Even for those of us that live here, it’s still fun to give the pigs a beer and chat with Norma and her friendly staff. If you are visiting the island, you simply must visit the Mt. Pellier Hut Domino Club. Not only is this a budget-friendly attraction, but it doesn’t take long, the drive through the rainforest is scenic, and the Domino Club staff will make you feel right at home. Bottoms up…but, don’t forget to spit out the can!
– Jennie Ogden, Editor