A good LHBS is a wonderful thing. I really miss the Oak Barrel in Berkeley, CA There's nothing up here that compares in size, selection or friendliness. I suspect the Oregon Liquor Control Commission prevents giving out any samples. Also, homebrewing is very, very serious up here. I brewed for 5 years in California and never even heard about BJCP.
Remember one unassailable statistic, as explained by the late, great George Carlin: "Just think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of them are even stupider!"
"I would like to die on Mars, just not on impact." Elon Musk