The Land of Ale and Gloom: Discovering the Pacific Northwest spans the summer of 2016, a summer which saw Donald Trump rise to national political prominence, and, perhaps not without coincidence, saw the author awake to the rather gloomy realization that there remained just one thing in this life which still brought him true happiness: craft beer.

So he decides to make the best of it and explore the home of craft beer – the Pacific Northwest. As with any long and uncertain journey, a guide was required. Hence, the works of influential Northwest-inspired writers like Ken Kesey, Jack Kerouac, and Lucia Perillo, but most importantly, Robert Burton’s The Anatomy of Melancholy (1621), an encyclopedia of the human condition which just so happens to suggest that a cold beer might not be the worst medicine.

Highlights include a kitschy Bavarian town curiously bereft of German beer, and a Viking fishing village awash with H. P. Lovecraft-inspired ales and Pokémon-obsessed teens. Also, a seaside dive serving Bud Light to the likes of Ted Bundy and the D.C. Sniper, a journey into the depressed coastal regions that gave birth to Kurt Cobain and Nirvana, Portland’s famed “Beermuda Triangle,” and the Salem mental hospital from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Finally, the Columbia River Gorge, where the beer and the waterfalls flow alongside a forgotten collection of Rodins and American Stonehenge, and lastly, the sun-drenched mountain town of Bend—a mecca known as “Beer Town, USA.”

About the Author

Phillip Hurst is the author of a novel, Regent’s of Paris, as well as a book of nonfiction, Whiskey Boys: And Other Meditations from the Abyss at the End of Youth, winner of the 2021 Monadnock Essay Collection Prize. His writing has appeared in literary journals such as The Missouri Review, The Gettysburg Review, River Teeth, Cimarron Review, and Post Road Magazine. He currently lives and writes in the Pacific Northwest.

About Unsolicited Press

Unsolicited Press was founded in 2012 and is based in Portland, OR. The press strives to produce exceptional works of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry from award-winning authors.

The Land of Ale and Gloom: Discovering the Pacific Northwest by Phillip Hurst is available on March 17, 2022 as a paperback (354 p.;978-1-956692-03-7). The book will be distributed to the trade by Ingram. An e-book version is also available and an audiobook is in the works. The author is open to speaking with the media, holding readings, and engaging in other opportunities.

Unsolicited Press

Eric Rancino




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