This is one of the best recipes I've ever found for making delicious beans. I did however, change it a bit. Omitted the beer, and replaced the beer+water with chicken stock (low sodium if you're buying the stock). They were out of this world. I might try the recipe *as written* next time, but mine turned out so well, I doubt I'd change much.
I could see making them vegetarian with some vegetable stock, soy sauce for the worcestershire, and using a few drops of liquid smoke (I suggest hickory) to give you what you'd be missing from the bacon.
But the original is fantastic. Thank you.