This past week’s nasty weather has signalled that summer is gone. But there is a silver lining to the dark cloud of Irene’s angry little sister that landed this week: Autumn’s brews have arrived on store shelves. For the first ever Towne Time, 21-and-over Hoya Staffers sampled some of the season’s best porters, ales and lagers. It was a hard job, but hey, somebody had to do it.

Beer #1: Sierra Nevada Tumbler, Autumn Brown Ale

Price: $8 for a six pack

Average score: 6.9

With its deep, buttery taste and sweet undertones, Beer #1 would be the perfect choice to enjoy on a nice autumn day on Healy Lawn with a good burger from GUGS. The foam — or “head” in beer lingo — provides a nice richness, making it a full-bodied beer.

Tasters noted Tumbler was:

“hoppy,” “a good burger beer,” “good frothy head,” “sweet undertones,” “nutty”

Beer #2: Harpoon Octoberfest Beer

Price: $8 for a six pack

Average score: 6.5

Beer #2 is lighter than the first and would be good beer to sip on and enjoy on a lazy afternoon rather than on a besotted weekend escapade. Our female taste-testers enjoyed this beer in particular, citing its mellow and clean finish. Less frothy than the first one, this one goes down easily.

Tasters noted Harpoon was:

“not as creamy,” “lighter,” “citrusy,” “fruity,” “no head,” “acrylic.”

Beer #3: Bell’s OctoberFest

Price: $11 for a six pack

Average score: 5.7

Beer #3 is the lightest and the weakest beer of the bunch. Understated and subtle, this beer is also spicy and packs a bitter aftertaste.  The lowest rated beer, taste-testers commented on its unexpected tastes, ranging from “soapy” to “spicy.”

Tasters noted Bell’s was:

“understated,” “subtle,” “slight spice,” “soapy,” “lightest beer so far,” “bitter aftertaste,” “quite carbonated”

Beer #4: Starr Hill Pumpkin  Porter

Price: $9 for a six pack

Average score: 8.5

Beer #4 is the perfect fall beer. It is the highest rated beer we tasted and is rich with autumn flavors like cinnamon, pumpkin and ginger. It also has a great smell and a smooth aftertaste.  Testers rated this highly, but noted it was a special occasion beer, as the strong flavors would be too powerful for everyday drinking, or pairing with food.

Tasters noted Starr Hill was:

“reminiscent of an apple orchard,” “pumpkin,” “cinnamon,” “very bold,” “ginger,” “smooth aftertaste,” “very dark,” “sweet smell.”

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