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SoCo Taphouse and Brew Company - San Angelo, Texas

Updated: Aug 10, 2022

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SoCo Taphouse and Brew Company

113 E Concho Ave Ste 210L

San Angelo, Texas 76903

325 703-6218

The tale of Benjamin Beale

We left the unimpressive Zero Ale Brewery in San Angelo, Texas and took the short drive to SoCo Taphouse and Brew Company in San Angelo, Texas. SoCo is a microbrewery and normally has two to three of their own brews on tap at any one time. We each tried a SoCo brew but opted for a flight of other breweries on tap options.

As we looked around, they have a top shelf with the tap handles from previous taps. Among the handles is a can of Bush’s Chili Beans. On top of the can is a small white school bus. We asked about the two items since they seemed out of place.

Chili Beans Can and Toy Bus on shelf

The chili can is an argument ender. It seems the locals had a long running dispute over beans in chili. Like the type of discussion between Cliff and Norm from Cheers. The can of chili beans proved that chili was meant to have beans, if not, then why would they produce chili beans? Most Texans including Sheldon Cooper would still contend chili ingredients do not include beans.

We then inquired about the school bus. The bartender pointed to the man at the end of the bar (a regular who was allowed to get his own beers) who told us the tale of Benjamin Beale of New Orleans.

Benjamin Beale mug shot

He quite calmly explained that Benjamin was in town for 5 days and frequented the taphouse each day, for several hours each day, long enough to talk to all the regulars and start to fit into the crowd. The bus he converted from a school bus to a camping vehicle was obvious to all the bar regulars.

And then one day Benjamin just left. A few days later his face flashed on the local news. He made it back to his hometown of New Orleans and was arrested under suspicion of murder. The local police searched his bus and found the decapitated body of his wife in a freezer in the bus. Since the bar regulars never saw a woman with Benjamin, nor did he ever mention her, they theorize that the decapitation happened on the road prior to arriving in San Angelo and for five days he lived as if nothing happened. Both my wife and I were in shock by the story and content. We searched Mr. Google for details as we listened to other patrons fill in details of the event.

For the Happy Hour price of $7 per flight we were entertained for 30 minutes of the explanation of the school bus knick-knack and a great flight of beer.


We recommend SoCo to anyone who enjoys beer on tap. They had a good variety of Texas beers on tap and Happy Hour specials daily.

About the Authors

When I first started dating my wife, we enjoyed popular domestic beers. I am sure visiting a craft brewery was her idea. Our taste buds rejoiced as we sampled the various brews. It did not take long before our tastes diverted – the darker ambers, reds, porters, and stouts for me, IPA, Hazy IPA, and pilsners for her.

When we retired, we decided to visit as many of our National Parks across this country. It seemed a natural fit to visit breweries in the many cities we travel through as we drive to the parks.

We currently reside in Fort Worth, Texas. Texas has about 300 micro-breweries, and the Metroplex has over 80. Which means we have a whole lot of day trips ahead of us to visit our local breweries.

Cathy and Frank at an Oktoberfest

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