2Mix brown sugar, paprika, mustard, and cayenne pepper together in a bowl. Whisk in pepper soda, ketchup, and Worcestershire sauce until brown sugar is dissolved.
3Cut 4 slices of bacon into small strips. Cook and stir in a large Dutch oven over medium heat until almost crispy, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl, reserving bacon grease.
4Stir onion into the bacon grease in the Dutch oven; cook and stir until soft, 3 to 5 minutes. Add garlic; cook and stir for 1 minute. Pour in bourbon, stirring to scrape up browned bits off the bottom with a wooden spoon. Stir bacon strips back in.
5Pour brown sugar mixture and baked beans into the Dutch oven. Simmer until beans are heated through, about 15 minutes. Arrange remaining 4 slices of bacon on top of the beans.
6Bake in the preheated oven, covered, until beans are bubbly and sauce is syrupy, about 3 hours.
Substitute apple cider vinegar for the bourbon if you don't want to use alcohol.
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground paprika
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 (12 fl oz) can caffeinated pepper-type soda (such as Dr Pepper®)