A group of five of us made it to the GABF on Friday night and had a great time. In some ways, it was reminiscent of a concert or sporting event, with seemingly desperate would-be beer tasters/drinkers looking for any extra tickets, and a wide and long line stretching around the building before the doors opened at 5:30PM. Once inside, there were nearly 400 different breweries represented, with nearly 1700 different beers.
The breweries were organized by geographic region. Whenever someone dropped one of the "commemerative" acrylic beer tasting glasses, a collective cheer/roar would reverbrate throughout the building (although this started to break down as the night wore on and people became more sloshed). We were all impressed and appreciative of the number of attractive women in attendence, which was a pleasant surprise.
Everyone in our group was pretty much in agreement that the beers that we tasted from the South and Midwest were universally pretty bad. The beers we sampled from the Pacific Northwest and from Colorado were much better as a whole. I drank alot of good stouts and porters, and reinforced my preference for dark beer.