I know this is suggesting a long trip on short notice, but I couldn't help but notice that the National Winter Ales Festival will be held in Manchester, England from Wednesday through Saturday of next week. It's sponsored by the Campaign for Real Ale, the British organization dedicated to saving traditionally brewed ale styles. CAMPRA was founded to save Real Ale -- what Colorado beer drinkers would call "cask conditioned ale" -- from an onslaught of cheap, mass produced lagers back in 1989, and they have been very successful in the UK and influential in this country too.
I love cask conditioned ales and I'm glad CAMRA has helped encourage the proliferation of cask-drawn alternatives at American brewpubs. Now, I wish someone would start a Campaign for Real Lagers. There are only a few craft brewers in this country who specialize in lager styles, and in my opinion we are missing out on a lot of great beer as a result.