According to hippie wisdom, early fall is a delicate time, holistically speaking. The season’s first chill causes sniffly noses and sour moods. To chase the fall blues away, one alternative-medicine-minded friend recently suggested eating plenty of greens.

Well, I already eat plenty of greens. What I really need now is a beer — one dark and flavorful enough to take the bitter edge off of summer’s exit. For this tasting, I went looking for organic beers worthy of therapeutic autumnal sipping.

While coworkers tease me about the “tough job” of tasting beer, the task of actually finding organic brew really is kind of, well, tough. Nationwide, breweries are struggling with short supplies of both barley and hops, and organic versions of those two beer staples are even more rare. As a result, there just aren’t that many organic beers on the market. And when you’re narrowing your search to just dark brews, the pickings get even slimmer. After combing the shelves and coolers of beer-geek-friendly stores around Chapel Hill, N.C., I found five solid candidates for the perfect autumnal organic beer. In order to fill out the lineup, I had to revert to two contenders I scrutinized in a tasting conducted last spring: Bison Organic Chocolate Stout and North Coast Cru D’or. But that’s OK — beers taste different in different seasons and contexts, and (unlike soulless corporate product) artisanal brews like the ones under consideration vary by batch.

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