In a large heavy pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Add the onions, garlic, chili powder, Essence, and cumin and cook, stirring often, until soft, about 4 minutes. Deglaze the pan with the beer and cook until the foam subsides, about 1 minute.
Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, and kidney beans to the pot. Stir well and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent the chili from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.
Remove from the heat and transfer to a thermos. To serve, ladle into bowls or thick cups. Sprinkle each serving with grated cheese and green onions, and serve hot.
Yield: about 2/3 cup
Recipe from "New New Orleans Cooking", by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch. Published by William and Morrow, 1993.