In “Meet a Member,” we highlight the people who make up the North American Guild of Beer Writers. It’s a chance to learn more about the wide collection of journalists, podcasters, bloggers, and vloggers who cover the industry. See and archive of these Q&A profiles.
Where can people find you on social media?
Where can people find your work?
My work can be read at www.courtneyburk.com and I regularly contribute to Eater Detroit, The Spaces, Drinkible, RSVP Detroit, and Comic Book Resources.
What topics do you regularly cover?
My work typically focuses on Detroit’s hospitality industry, food, beverage, and video games. I began working in the industry when I was young and connected to people through their stories. My writing is known for showcasing the bars, restaurants, and breweries in the city that are moving towards changing the industry and making it a better space for all.
What topics would you like to cover more in the future?
The difficult conversations that need to be had in beer, and more specifically in Detroit’s industry.
People should consider me an expert on ____ … and why:
Front of house (FOH) operations. It took some courage to actually admit that to myself, but having worked a variety of FOH positions and management roles in the industry, I’ve learned so much about people. Clientele and staff. After leaving the industry to pursue writing full-time I still engage in the conversation of FOH through consulting. That experience also lends a unique perspective and understanding to my writing.
And I’m great at pouring a beer.
What’s a favorite thing you’ve created in the last year?
Writing about Michigan’s beer legislation was by far one of the most frustrating and rewarding experiences. With covid, legislation shifted, and some of the old prohibition laws were modified. Digging into the specifics of each piece of legislation and compiling it into a comprehensive guide for owners and staff, became a way I could help our industry. Heads up Michigan, they’re set to expire in 2025!
What’s the last great thing you read or heard? (beer or not)
I’m currently reading “Beast Boy Loves Raven” by Kami Garcia and Gabriel Picolo and it’s such a joy to read.
What’s a fun fact, hidden talent, or something you enjoy that has nothing to do with beer?
I have a tattoo on my right wrist that reads “na zdrowie”. Every time I raise a pint it’s a Polish cheers that literally translates “to your health”.
How did you get into covering beer?
I’ve been in the hospitality industry for over fifteen years. I began my career in Detroit at a local brewery and was writing freelance at the same time. I began with a series “Badass Women In Hospitality”, showcasing the brilliant women all around Detroit. While it took me a few years to get out of the industry once I started freelancing, I’m happy to say I now write for and about Metro Detroit’s industry full-time!
Who is a reporter/author/podcaster and publication/show that inspires you?
There are so many:
- Beth Demmon (http://www.bethdemmon.com/)
- Alicia Kennedy (https://alicia-kennedy.com/)
- Alicia Banaszewski (https://www.aliciabanaszewski.com/)
- Amy Sherman (https://twitter.com/amyonthetrail)
- Mickey Lyons (http://prohibitiondetroit.com/web/)
And I’m always looking to read more!