Total Calories: 78
Rinse beans, discarding any bad ones, and place in large pot. Cover with water and soak overnight or bring water to a boil; boil 2 minutes; remove from heat, cover and let beans soak one hour. Discard water, rinse beans with cold water and drain.
Place beans in pot with all other ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce heat until liquid barely simmers and simmer, partially covered for 3 - 4 hours, until beans are very tender. Add water and beer during cooking, as needed, to prevent sticking and scorching. Remove and discard bay leaves. Adjust seasonings while cooking, if necessary.
Fun Fact: Pinto beans are the most widely produced bean in the United States and one of the most popular in the Americas. Dove Creek, Colorado, is known as "the Pinto Bean Capital of the World." While pinto beans have been raised in this area for centuries, Dove Creek really only claims to grow the best pinto beans, not the most. One reason that pinto beans grow very well there is that the soil has a very high iron content, and is red in color. And the local folks' faith in the quality and flavor of their crop extends to them turning out products like pinto bean cookies and pinto bean ice cream sauce.