Joshua M. Bernstein has never held a full-time job. He has instead carved out a career by drinking beer and writing about it. 

Bernstein, 33, of Brooklyn, N.Y., has written for many New York publications and websites, as well as a few national ones. “Brewed Awakening: Behind the Beers and Brewers Leading the World’s Craft Brewing Revolution” (Sterling Epicure, 292 pages, $24.95) is his first book.

Maine and Maine beers play a large part in the book, because Bernstein spent part of five years in this state living, as he puts it, “on Grant Street, just a couple of blocks from Bubba’s Sulky Lounge” in Portland and making it regularly to such spots as Novare Res, the Great Lost Bear and Ebenezer’s Pub in Lovell.

The book is divided into chapters on ingredients, extreme beers, old-style beers, organic beers, seasonal beers, brewers, packaging and home brewing. But the most interesting aspect is all the great beers Bernstein has tried. And if you are lucky enough to find them, you can try them yourself.

Q: You obviously, from all the local references, have spent a lot of time in Maine. 

A: About five summers ago, I started coming up there every year for two or three weeks. And then I rented a house on Grant Street, just a couple of blocks from Bubba’s Sulky Lounge, and that gave me a fantastic education on all the great beers. Beyond that, my wife’s family is from Rochester, N.H., which is just across the border.

And then in August, we got married on Munjoy Hill overlooking the water in the park there. After that, we had the party at Bubba’s Sulky Lounge, and we had Po’ Boys and Pickles cater the weekend, and we brought in some great beers — Baxter’s Stowaway IPA, Allagash and some other ones. 

Q: Did you visit all of the other regions you discussed, or did you just find the beers in New York or where you happened to be?

A: I’ve always loved to travel, going down to Asheville, N.C, to see what is going on there, down to Austin (Texas) or Seattle, doing most of my traveling by myself. I obviously can’t go everywhere, but I have been on the beer beat for seven or eight years now, and I like to go out there and see what is developing.

Q: Do you have one favorite brewer? One favorite beer?

A: I think it depends. I’m here in Philadelphia on the book tour, and Nodding Head is really good. 

For the beers, it depends on the seasons. In the summer, I like a good crisp Pilsner or witbier, and in the winter, I like barleywine. And IPA is one of my favorites. But I like to drink seasonally.

I really like what Cigar City Brewery had down down in Tampa. The entire Southeast has been a beer desert, and they have opened it up with some really excellent beers. The Jai Alai IPA is excellent.

Q: I saw you on TV locally, and you said that the craft beer movement is better now in its second bloom period because in the early years of the 1980s and ’90s, a lot of the craft beer was not that good. So, the good ones survived?

A: Back in the ’80s and ’90s when a lot of people opened up brew pubs, there was not a lot of brewing knowledge. The people were home brewers, but there is a big jump from brewing five gallons at a time to opening a commercial brewery.

Q: Have you ever considered going into brewing yourself? Or opening a beer bar?

A: Opening a beer bar would bring a whole new set of headaches. I do like brewing and help friends with brewing, but I like writing and doing what I have done with writing and the beer tours that I do.

Every five to six weeks, I conduct a home-brew tour of New York, sort of like a roving house party. The City is a tough place to break down the walls and meet people, and I find this is a great way to break down the walls and meet people who share a common interest.

Q: “Brewed Awakening” to me is a snapshot of the beer world in 2011. Is this something you plan on updating every two or three years? The part on ingredients might not change much but the new beers and styles would.

A: I eventually would like to update this, because I actually started on it in February 2010, and now it is November 2011, and there are a lot of things that have come out since then.

But now I have a new project to complete.

There is a Windows to Wine Complete Wine Course that tells all about the world of wine, more nuanced than most wine books. I want to do that, only for the craft beer world. Only about 7 percent of the population is drinking craft beer, and there are not a lot of books about the subject.

It is planned for completion in 2013, and I haven’t written a single word yet. There has just been so much work with getting this book out. I left on this trip with 100 pounds of books, and I sold some in Washington and now I hope to lose some more here in Philadelphia. There is just a lot more to this touring than I knew.

Q: Is there anything we should talk about that we haven’t covered already?

A: Just that I have been fortunate as a freelance writer. I’ve never had a full-time job, just doing temp work filing papers while I began writing, and now this book has come out.

And also I would like to say how exciting the Portland beer scene is. Oxbow has just started, making some great farmhouse ales. Rising Tide is a great beer. Nathan Sanborn (Rising Tide owner and brewer) called me when he saw me on “207” with a Rising Tide in front of me.

Urban Farm Fermentory is doing some very interesting stuff, and Sebago is always good. I really like Maine Beer’s Peeper Ale. It is just a great place for beer.

Tom Atwell is a freelance writer in Cape Elizabeth whose weekly beer column, “What Ales You,” appears Thursdays. He can be contacted at 791-6362 or at: [email protected]