I have been reading a great deal on the different beer styles out there and wow beer is pretty complex! Beer just isn't beer, there are lagers, ales, porters, stouts, witbier, pilsners and a few more. Each one has it's own characteristics that sets it apart from the others.
I have also noticed that the average beer drinker will most likely not like anything other than the good ol American lagers. Give them a stout or porter and watch them look funny trying to swallow it down. Beer drinker tastes vary from person to person as well.
So a word of advice, when having your "friends" sample your beer make sure that you don't take some comments to seriously. If it tastes good to you then that should be all that matters. Remember you will brew some beers that many will like a and few will dislike, some that many will dislike and a few will like.
If you want some good guide lines on how to rate or judge a beer go to this site http://www.bjcp.org/index.php . At this site you can download a pdf file that will help you learn on what makes a lager a lager and not a pilsner. Impress your friends or watch them look at you weird as you "judge" a beer before you drink it down.
It also a good thing to know what beer you are brewing. What characteristics you are looking for and such. The judging guide also helps you in deciding what hops to use together and what yeast to use. Knowing this info can also help you to classify your brew in case you ever enter it into a competition.