After several years of living in DC, where every other person is a Master of Whatever or a Doctor of Some Stuff, I’m used to not being the smartest person in the room. On the flip side, though, I’m also not usually the dumbest. However, that could be because I usually hang out with this cute, but pretty stupid guy… But I digress. As I sat down last Thursday at one of the shiny wooden community tables that adorns the front of Smith Commons‘ first floor, I felt squarely out of my element. Not because I don’t love Smith Commons (God no, I want to hold a boombox up to this H Street spot and play it 1980s love songs), but because I was attending a beer event, and well, up until that night I never considered myself a “beer person.” To give you an idea: I’m the a@#hole who goes to an Irish pub and orders wine.

But luckily (and tastily), I didn’t stay rolling in the derp for long. Thanks to the knowledgeable men and women around me, I learned not only is there no such thing as “not a beer person,” (as Smith Commons’ bar manager Miles Gray declared, “There’s a beer for everyone.”), but beer-tasting is pretty fun. It’s a little like wine-tasting, but more awesome because it’s essential to swallow the beer you’re tasting, whereas in wine-tasting you’re encouraged to swish and spit. But it’s also more awesome because there’s a lot more room for creativity when it comes to both your interpretation of what you’re drinking and also in what you’re drinking. “You can make beer out of pretty much everything,” said J.P, the lone homebrewer at the table. He recalled a time when he made beer out of bacon. “It tasted like breakfast,” he said. In your face, wine!

Yet just because the whole experience is a laid-back affair doesn’t mean there aren’t any rules. “Actually, there aren’t any rules,” said Tommy Hunter, a marketing manager for Flying Dog Brewery. Okay, so there may not be “rules,” per se, but there are some helpful guidelines that’ll make anyone a beer person, or at least help you be more mindful while you sip…

And while I know it’s a bit annoying, since I wrote this for my day job, I’m asking to you please click here to read the rest. It’ll be worth it, I swear! If you love tolerate me you’ll do it. Or at least if you want the five basic steps of craft beer tasting. It’s even, dare I say, slightly informational.