goat drinks beer.

Clay Henry - Famous Beer-Drinking Dead Goat

Field review by the editors.

Terlingua, Texas

Go to The Trading Post in Lajitas, a town of about 100 along the Rio Grande River near Big Bend National Park, and get some long neck beers. Buy them, then feed them to Clay Henry, the beer-drinking goat.

People come from all over to stand outside Clay Henry's pen and feed him beers all day long. There is no other good reason to be in Lajitas.

Once you pop the cap, Clay will do the rest. As Clay's drinking buddies -- smaller goats who cannot hold the bottle by themselves -- clamor about begging swigs, Clay -- a strapping black mountain goat -- takes the bottle from you, teeth gripping the glass. He rocks his head backward and chugs. When it is empty, Clay spits the bottle aside. Your turn is over. Clay moves down the fence, where the next tourist will feed him the next beer.

Goat in no pain.

Actually, the goat knocking them back these days is Clay Henry, Junior. His father, Clay Henry, Sr. was the original beer-drinking goat. Clay Pere was much beloved in Lajitas for increasing tourism -- and got elected mayor in 1986. Visitors were known to bring a case and go toe to hoove with him. Posters and postcards of a triumphant Clay Henry, Sr. in mid-guzzle are still for sale at local locations. Tough shoes for a kid to fill.

Bill Valentine, the man who runs The Trading Post, stands behind the cash register and tells the shocking story of Clay, Sr's. death in 1992. "Clay, Sr. and Clay, Jr. both got soused in the same pen during rutting season. Clay, Jr. killed his father in a drunken brawl over a female." Clay Henry, Jr. drinks to forget.

Get there in the morning. By mid-afternoon Clay, Jr. -- pen littered with empties -- is clearly adrift in Sot's Bay. After staggering over to his salt lick and working it furiously, he'll drop to all four knees and his minus-sign-irised eyes will roll back in his head. He's had it.

Outside, the other goats finally get their fill from beers originally purchased for Clay, Jr. Inside, Valentine -- the stuffed countenance of Clay, Sr. watching over him -- shakes his head. "Clay, Sr. used to drink as many as people would feed him."

"Clay, Jr.," he says, resigned, "isn't the goat his father was."

May 2011: While goats no longer drink beer in Lajitas, the stuffed carcass of Clay Henry the goat is on display over at the Terlingua Trading Post.

November 2003: The Trading Post has reopened after six months of renovations by Austin businessman Steve Smith, who bought the entire town in an auction. He's added a wine and espresso bar and other niceties as part of an overhaul of the Lajitas into a retreat for the rich. But Clay Henry III still chugs beers to the delight of visitors...

August 2002: Beer drinking goat castrated by jealous neighbor! Clay Henry III, beer drinking goat and mayor of the west Texas border town of Lajitas, was attacked by local Jim Bob Hargrove and castrated. Hargrove committed the heinous deed after seeing the goat drinking beer on a Sunday, when the area's blue laws prevent the sale of alcohol to humans. Tourists had apparently been feeding Clay Henry his usual staple of Lone Star longnecks, and Hargrove threatened to castrate the goat, according to eyewitnesses. The mayor was found lying next to his testicles on Monday, Aug. 5. Ranchers sutured his wounds, and Clay was up slugging down cold ones soon after. Hargrove faces charges of animal cruelty.

1996: Clay Jr. has silenced the skeptics; he now drinks 35-40 beers a day. He had a bit role in The Streets of Larado television series, and was filmed for a Sally Jesse Raphael segment in 1995. Clay Sr. lived to be 22, so The Trading Post expects Clay Jr. to be around for a while. "Beer kills you, but it does it slow."

Clay Henry - Famous Beer-Drinking Dead Goat

Address:
100 Ivey Street, Terlingua, TX
Directions:
At Terlingua Trading Post. From the north, drive south on Hwy 118 many miles to Study Butte. Turn right (west) onto FM 170. Drive four miles. Turn right at the entrance to Terlingua Ghost Town, then drive a quarter-mile to the Trading Post. From the west (Big Bend Ranch State Park), drive 12 miles east on FM 170. Turn left at the entrance to Terlingua Ghostown, then drive a quarter-mile to the Trading Post.
Hours:
Daily 10 am - 9 pm (Call to verify)
Phone:
432-371-2234
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

Only Submarine West of the PecosOnly Submarine West of the Pecos, Terlingua, TX - < 1 mi.
White Buffalo HeadWhite Buffalo Head, Marathon, TX - 65 mi.

More Quirky Attractions in Texas

Stories, reports and tips on tourist attractions and odd sights in Texas.

Explore Thousands of Unique Roadside Landmarks!

Strange and amusing destinations in the US and Canada are our specialty. Start here.
Use RoadsideAmerica.com's Attraction Maps to plan your next road trip.

December 20, 2014

My Sights

Map and Plan Your Own Roadside Adventure

Try My Sights

Roadside America app
Roadside Presidents app

Texas Latest Tips and Stories

Latest Visitor Tips

Sight of the Week

Sight of the Week

Bailey Art Museum - Robots of Clayton Bailey, Crockett, California (Dec 15-21, 2014)

SotW Archive

USA and Canada Tips and Stories

Latest Visitor Tips

Sightings. Arrives without warning. Leaves no burn marks. A free newsletter from RoadsideAmerica.com. Subscribe now!
RoadsideAmerica.com Hotel & Motel Finder

Special online rates for hotels & motels.

Book Online Now