Spread beans over your counter so you can look for beans that are broken, discolored, or shriveled and remove them. There will also be small stones or pebbles that should be sorted out of the beans during this phase. Discard all of the undesirable pieces.
Place beans in a colander. Rinse the beans thoroughly with cool water.
Soak your beans for 30 minutes to 1 hour before cooking.
Add soaked beans, beer, water, and garlic to slow cooker.
Chop bacon into 1⁄2-inch pieces and fry in a large skillet until crispy; drain and set aside.
Add the onions to the skillet and cook, stirring frequently to loosen the brown bits left behind in the pan from the bacon, for 2 to 3 minutes.
Add tomatoes and jalapeños (if using) and, cook, continuing to stir and incorporate and leftover bits from the skillet, keeping all the delicious goodness in your beans, for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
Add the contents of the skillet to the slow cooker, along with the cooked bacon. Add salt and stir until well combined.
Cover and cook on low for 7 to 8 hours.
Garnish with cilantro and serve warm.
Do I have to use dried beans for this recipe?If you plan on going the slow cooker route, dried beans are the best option. Not only are they less expensive than their canned counterparts, they are also able to withstand the 7-8 hour cook time without breaking down or becoming mushy. Using dried beans also means you get the opportunity to add as much flavor as possible.Can I use different beans than pintos?While pinto beans are the traditional variety used for borracho beans, you can swap in dried navy beans, great northern beans or cranberry beans instead, depending on what you have available.Can I make borracho beans ahead of time?Absolutely! Generally speaking, anything that gets made in a slow cooker will do just fine being made ahead. Borracho beans will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week, or can be frozen for up to three months.