In a dutch oven, cook your bacon till crispy and set aside.
Using the left over grease from the bacon saute the onion, carrot's and celery till soft but not browned.
Add the garlic and saute for 1-2 minutes.
Pour in you chicken stock.
Add the potatoes, thyme salt and pepper
Bring to a boil then simmer until potatoes are fork tender.
You can either use and immersion blender in your pot or remove 1/2 of the mixture to a blender to puree. If you like to leave chunks of potatoes the blender works great, if you like your soup smooth then the immersion blender works well.
Pour the pureed soup from the blender back into the pot and mix well.
Add Your cheese and stir.
Add beer and let simmer for 10 minutes
Add hot sauce to taste.
Put in bowls and top with bacon bits and extra cheese if you wish