Along with Amber Bock, I've used Lone Star, Sam Adams, Guinness, Bud and Amstel in chili. So far no one's left the table. As for beans, I understand some people use them. I don't. Case closed. You can reconstitute dried ancho chilis by soaking them in water, then pulverize them into a paste in a blender. I skip the soaking part, toss them into blender directly, use the powder accordingly.
Here's another Chili recipe (from egullet.org) that sounds interesting and very spicy. I plan to try this one next.
8 oz good, super-thick-cut bacon (slab if possible), cut into ~1/4" cubes
2 lb beef chuck, cubed or cut in strips
2—3 large onions, chopped (about 3 cups)
Olive oil or other fat as needed
10 cloves garlic, 5 cut into thick slices, 5 minced
1 (or more, depending on taste) fresh jalapeno, stem and seed removed, minced
1 T salt, or to taste
1 T freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
1 T ancho chili powder, or to taste
1 tsp ground cayenne pepper, or to taste
1 tsp crushed red pepper, or to taste
2 T ground cumin, or to taste
1 T dried oregano leaves or 1/2 T ground oregano, or to taste
1 tsp ground thyme, or to taste
1 tsp ground cinnamon, or to taste
3 T white flour
1 pt good dark beer, such as Guinness Stout
1 c good beef stock, plus more as needed
1/4 c molasses
1/4 c balsamic or red wine vinegar
1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
2 14 ounce cans red kidney beans (optional)
Large round sourdough loafs, cut into bread bowls (if available), freshly cooked white rice otherwise
1. Brown bacon in large stockpot over medium heat. Remove with slotted spoon and reserve, leaving bacon fat in pot.
2. Turn heat to high. Brown cut-up beef quickly in bacon fat (in batches if necessary). Remove with slotted spoon and reserve.
3. Turn heat to medium. Add onions and the sliced garlic to the remaining bacon fat. Add a splash of additional oil or other fat if necessary. Season with salt and black pepper. Stir frequently for a few minutes until the onions begin to soften.
4. Turn heat to medium-low and stir in jalapeno. Stir every five minutes or so until the onion and garlic are well caramelized. Add a splash of olive oil and lower the heat if it becomes too dry. Allow at least 30 minutes.
5. Add reserved browned beef to pot. Stir until well mixed with onion mixture. Stir in dry spices and herbs and flour until beef and onions are well coated. Cook, stirring frequently, about five minutes.
6. Add beer and stock. Scrape bottom of pot well. Turn heat to high, and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to medium or medium-low. Simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, scraping bottom.
7. Add molasses, vinegar, tomatoes, and remaining garlic. Turn heat to high, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 1 hour or more.
8. Add beans, if desired, about 30 minutes before serving. Add reserved bacon and minced garlic about 15 minutes before serving. Add additional stock if chili becomes too dry (consistency should be thick and stew-like). Adjust seasoning and serve.
9. Serve in sourdough bread bowls (if you can find them) or over white rice otherwise. Garnish with sliced scallions, shredded cheddar, and sour cream.