In a 6-quart saucepan, over medium-high heat, brown the beef crumbling as it browns, in batches so as not to crowd the pan. Remove the browned meat to a paper towel lined plate.
Remove all but 1/4 cup of the fat in the pan, if there's not 1/4 cup fat, add vegetable oil, as needed. Add the onion and cook, on medium, stirring occasionally, until browned and soft, about 10-12 minutes.
Stir in garlic, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika and oregano and cook, stirring constantly so as not to burn the spices, until the spices are fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.
Return the browned beef to the saucepan and add the salt, pepper, bay leaves, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, Better than Bouillon, 3/4 cup of the amber ale beer and 1/3 a cup of water and simmer 20 minutes.
Add the remaining 3/4 cup of beer, another 2/3 cup of water, and masa and simmer 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until chili is thick.
Serve with any toppings you like.