Add onion to bacon fat and sauté until translucent, approx. 4 mins. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, one minute. Add carrots, celery and potato and sauté for an additional couple of minutes. Add spices and heat for one minute. Add beer. Bring to a boil and cook, uncovered, until reduced by half.
Add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer on low for 45 mins. Remove bay leaves and puree with an immersion blender. Add sour cream and cheese and puree until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with reserved bacon pieces and a dollop of sour cream.
Cook bacon in a medium soup pot over medium heat. Remove to paper towels to allow to drain.