Sunday, 7 December 2014

The Junction

Where: The Junction, 1138 Davie Street

When: 7:30 Mondays. Don't worry about getting there early, as the place was empty until around 7:25, and the quiz didn't really lurch into motion until nearly 8.

Web Presence: The Junction's event calendar has a mention.

Team Info: 5 brains per team, presumably in accompanying bodies.

Prizes: Each of the halves awarded a pitcher of beer to the top two teams, and the score for the second half is cumulative. Two mini-games provide an additional pair of free pitchers.

Format: Two halves, each of which consists of 10 questions, a short music round, and a video round. The first half also included a picture round.

Food and Drink: There is food and drink, but both selections are unimpressive.

Years ago, we would always go to pub quiz on Mondays. Well before the mania took hold and I had to start a blog just to keep the quiz nights in town straight, we would sit at the same bar every Monday, order some food, drink some beer, and hopefully answer some questions. It was ritual, it made Mondays not so bad, and it made us a number of good friends. Times changed, the quiz shut down, and we've drifted around on a more or less itinerant schedule for some time. Last Monday, however, we were able to get some of the old teams back together, and headed to Davie Village on a cold and rainy night, and have a nostalgic Monday night quiz.

The Junction is a quiz that has interested me for quite sometime, because unlike the other quizzes I am yet to review, I had absolutely no idea as to what it would be like. No related quizzes, no mutual quizmaster, nothing. I hadn't even been to the bar itself. Finally, it happened to me, and I got the chance to go. Turns out, it is a spacious, welcoming place, that doubles as a de facto small club at night. You'll get a taste of this at the end, as quiz segues smoothly into industry night, and you're more than likely to run into a different crowd than your usual quiz night there.

The HCMC train station does little to clear the waters
All that said, now I know. The quiz is run by Richard Romano, a charismatic young host who will keep you entertained, all the while blithely redirecting any complaints about content or even  unfortunate mispronunciation. It sounds like there is a regular co-host, but their role was filled in by someone who allegedly wrote the entire quiz in 40 minutes, which is rather impressive. It was an enjoyable quiz, with only a few slip ups betraying the hasty composition. I can't imagine that they'll forget that Ho Chi Minh City used to be called Saigon (and not the other way around) anytime soon.

The evening started with a video that I would describe as "Not Work Safe," but definitely a lot of fun, before the picture round exposed our lack of knowledge of what fashion designers actually look like. Even with the help of it being a matching category, we only answered one of them successfully. We should have just saved ourself the time and brain anguish and answer Calvin Klein for each image. We'd have scored the same. So take our experience as an object lesson: if you want to win a pub quiz, don't answer the first nine questions incorrectly.

The rest of the quiz was fairly standard pub quiz fare, but the themed music rounds were delightful. Who would have thought that this would be the night I'd finally hear a non-regulation Black Sabbath song at pub quiz (the untouchable "Electric Funeral"). The video rounds were usually clips off of off-brand humour websites that showed some "wild and crazy" thing and then you had to answer a question based on that, à la the old quiz at the ANZA club. Unfortunately, the content wasn't as well curated, and I felt it became kind of a drag, especially after watching a 4 minute long Seth Rogan skit. The marking was a communal, which sped up the evening significantly, which comes in handy when there is a dance floor waiting in the wings. 

After all is said and done (You're going to be the lonely one): A fun quiz that I'd gladly go to again! Some of the questions were a bit sloppy, but the night had a distinctive character to match the venue and surrounding area. Definitely the best pub quiz on Davie.

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Daylight Savings Quiz

To those who quiz on Sunday nights: Rowan's Roof will now start their quiz at 6 in the evening, and not 7. This way, the farmers will have even more time to quiz, or something.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Will There Ever Be a Rainbow?

I'm a little bit late to the game, but Woo Hoo Classic Simpsons Trivia has moved out of the slightly bizarre environs of SD Galleria, and on to the less convenient, but nicer confines of The Waldorf. Head down to the Tiki Bar, and share a drink with everyone's favourite Olmec head. When's the next quiz? Tomorrow, so adjust your schedules accordingly.

As Christopher Wallace once said, "If you don't know, now you know"

Señor Xtapolapocetl

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Quiz Roland To The Dark Tower Came

Once again, it appears to be time to announce another new pub quiz. The newest kid on the block is Roland's on 4th, located on West 4th avenue in Kitsilano. You thought that Wednesday's quiz schedule was getting full, and you were having trouble picking out which quiz to go to? Tough! We've got another hat in the ring, run by the people of Moving Music & Events - in the even that name means anything to you. I've never heard of them before, which has got me quite excited to take in a quiz written by an unknown (to me).

The quiz advertises itself as being based on pop culture, and they're offering specials of $3.95 highballs and a free plate of wings for each table. there's no entry free, and the quiz purports to start at seven PM. The quiz starts as of Wednesday, November 12, 2014, and runs weekly.

So, a quick recap:
-Roland's on 4th
-Wednesdays at 7PM

Sunday, 5 October 2014

The Cheeky Pub Quiz @ The London

Where: The London, 700 Main Street (at Georgia)

When: 7PM, Wednesdays

Web Presence: Here's the event page. I know it says Sundays but trust me, they're actually running it on Wednesdays now. Double check with them on twitter, if you don't want to take our word for it.

Team Info: Take as many as you want, I suppose.

Prizes: First place took home a $25 Jennings Hospitality Gift Certificate. Not bad. Last week they were giving away Whitecaps tickets, which could be a good haul.

Format: About 5 rounds of varying sizes. There was a picture round, and a brief and merciless music round.

Food and Drink: Given the general demeanour of the pub ("Donnelly chic," complete with pinball
machines, TVs locked to Sunday Night Football, etc), I wasn't expecting much in the way of food. Well, for the first of many times that night, I was mistaken, as the Chili Verde was frankly delicious, and some of the best best pub food I've had in town. The vegetarians reported good things about the quesadillas, so it was a pleasant surprise on most counts. The London Lager's selling point remains its price point and not its taste, however. Can't win 'em all.

The London Pub's quiz deserved better than the crowd it got. Not that they were surly or obnoxious, or inattentive, but rather that they barely existed. The place was a ghost town this particular Sunday evening, due to a combination of a beautiful September weather and the Seahawks losing. Not many people had stuck around, and more than a few people didn't feel like heading out to the bar at the end of a weekend. A quick talk with the host told me that they'd be moving quizzes to Wednesday, where they are now, and by most accounts it looks like things are going much better.

The author approves.
The quiz was run by an amiable Brit who kept up a steady stream of banter across four or five rounds. I wish I could be more specific, but went nearly a month ago and have been slacking off in writing this post. The questions were a quality mix of pub quiz classics, planted firmly in the middle ground between fun and challenging. The emphasis on pop culture and other such trash was lower than I'm used to at trivia nights around town. It felt a part of the long standing tradition of British pub quizzes where they expect you to know your shit. You should find that you'll have an inclusive time without feeling either patronized or dumb. That's a hard balance to strike at a quiz.

The picture round was broadcast on monitors, and went along at a brisk pace. The music round was one of the hardest I've ever been to, to boot. I'm not sure if we were just having a bad day, but we felt entirely out of phase with the host's tastes. I'm willing to bet you'll have better luck though. The other teams seemed to.

The Call Of The Wild:  A good quiz, that is hopefully finding more love on Wednesday nights. Head on down, meet some people, have a good time, and enjoy the Chili Verde. And remember, it's on Wednesday nights now.

Monday, 25 August 2014

The Coppertank

Where: The Coppertank, located at 3135 W Broadway in Kits

When: 7:45, on a roughly biweekly schedule

Web Presence:  The official Trivia page provides the upcoming schedule. It is usually every two weeks but not always, so check ahead of time. You can sometimes find a hint on the Coppertank's Facebook page.

Team Info: Max team size of 8, and there are usually a fair number of teams with that many.

Prizes: We finished third and got $25 knocked off our bill. I think second gets the same, and first twice that.

Format: Three rounds, 12 questions each, and a picture round. Each round ends with a sound clip worth two points.

Food and Drink: I didn't eat here, but the food selection looked pretty good. About what one would expect in Kits. The beer was the happy middle ground between Megabreweries galore and a full-on craft beer explosion. Gigantic mugs of Grasshopper were on special, around eight dollars for 24 ounces of beer.

Billing itself as "the best pub quiz in Kits," the Coppertank Grill's cavernous confines play host to a derby of knowledge every other Wednesday night. More or less. I haven't exactly pinned down their schedule, but "every two weeks, usually" seems to be an apt descriptor. The official start time is 7:45, making it the only quiz in town that doesn't start on the hour or half hour. Will this bold time slot gamble pay off? Let' see what I think!

The quiz itself went briskly, which I think is a boon. It was marked by the host and his assistant, and score updates would often come in the middle of the second round. If you've got the personnel to pull this off, I think it is a great idea. Too often I've been bored stiff at a quiz while the markers wait until everything has been marked and checked and ranked. While unorthodox, I didn't mind the announcing of the rankings midway through the next round.

Pienaar, 1995 Coppertank quiz champion
The picture round was the best I've played in a while. While not particularly varied — naming sports stars and their numbers — it had an excellent range of easy (Wayne Gretzky), middling (Kareen Abdul-Jabbar), difficult (Christine Sinclair), and fiendish (Francois Pienaar) questions. While I expect few Vancouver quizzers know of Pienaar, surely some may have at least thought that he was probably the guy Matt Damon played in Invictus, so hopefully no one felt too hard done by. I can only assume that it took a team with an Afrikaaner in their ranks to scry the correct number. His number was six, and he wasn't even the most famous person to wear a number six Pienaar jersey - that honour surely goes to Nelson Mandela.

The rest of the questions were good, but not quite on the level of the picture round. Not too much to write about, but it tended more towards "trivial" things that could go either way than towards fact-based recall. I like and don't like those kinds of questions. I like them because hey, it is trivia, and I don't like them because they usually put our teams into ten-minute long agony spirals because it is borderline impossible to actually know the answer. I'll stop here, before I go too Pub Quiz Policy Wonk for my own blog, but suffice it to say The Coppertank handled these types of pesky questions with aplomb.

15-12 over New Zealand: A good quiz on the crowded Wednesday evening docket. Is it the best quiz in Kits, as they claim? I personally don't think so, but I wouldn't hesitate in putting it second. Good questions, good pacing, and good drinks make this a great evening. Next time, I'll make sure to bring a larger team. The odd time slot? It's probably just a way of saying "It starts at 8, but get here early"

That's right, THE Tank

Monday, 4 August 2014

Rowan's Roof (cancelled)

The quiz at Rowan's Roof has been discontinued. For Sunday night quizzing in Kits by the same host, head to The King's Head

Where: Rowan's Roof, located at 2340 W 4th Avenue in Kits

When: 6PM Sundays, weekly

Web Presence:  You can follow IQ2000 on Facebook, and get yourself a few free answers every week

Team Info: I think there is a max team size of seven, but concessions can be made.

Prizes: A smorgasbord. There are usually some pitchers of beer getting awarded for general enthusiasm and victory, along with others. Prizes from the last few weeks have included: A gift certificate for a facial at Bioethique, a free haricut, a bottle of house wine, a $25 gift card to Broadway International Wine Shop, and 50 minutes of free tanning at a salon. Personally I wonder at the intersection of pub quizzers and salon tanners, but you can't argue that these are pretty excellent prizes!

Format: 4 rounds, 10 questions each, divided into two halves. So really two rounds of 20 questions. Themed music round

Food and Drink: It's food and drink. The beer selection leaves a lot to be desired. But they've got a nice patio, and the house wine's on special.

At long last I was able to take time out of my busy church-going schedule (Hi, Mom!) to attend a pub quiz on a Sunday night. A couple of us hopped the bus to Kits and took in the evening at Rowan's Roof. The crowd was decent for a Sunday night, about eight teams or so. To be honest, I don't go to a lot of pubs on Sundays, so I'm not sure what the baseline is. But there were tables full of people having fun,with some room for more, so it looks like it is doing something right. The quiz was also competing against a supremely gorgeous day, such as we have be privy to of late. I would expect an uptick in crowds, as ever, when the autumn rains come lashing in.

The quiz itself, I don't have too much to say that wasn't already said during the Mr. Brownstone review. Same delightful host, same cheer-offs that wear on you the more frequently you go, same good questions and same fantastic production. The music round has officially become a staple of IQ2000 quizzes, and while the same categories pop up every now and again, the rounds at Rowan's Roof have been quite good. Nothing like the brain agony of when I can't remember the name of the Buffalo Springfield song for approx. the seven thousandth time. The slideshow accompaniment to the Answers continues to reward deep reading. Pay attention sons and daughters, it is probably the highlight of Vancouver quizzes.

As you may have read already, the prizes are excellent here. On top of being some pretty cool swag to take home, they're very community-oriented — almost all the non-beer at the bar prizes for Rowan's Roof come from businesses in the area. So get out there, win some prizes, and support some local business.

For What It's Worth: A fun quiz with great prizes at an okay bar. Fortunately, the food and drink is fairly cheap. The best of Sunday? Quite possibly, but I'll suspend judgement until I've gathered some more data on the topic.

That sound was that song, of course

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Make Your Answers Count

Look at that, couldn't even go four days without finding out about a new quiz event to share with you guys.

Decoda Literacy Solutions is running a fundraising trivia night and optional costume party on Sunday, September 28th at the Butcher and Bullock (911 West Pender Street). It's run by the folks at Nice Guys Trivia. If you're someone with good recall, and you should be, if you're looking for a trivia night, you'll remember what I said about the Nice Guys. If you forgot, I can't blame you, and I'll paraphrase: They're nice, and it's a fun time. As I've probably said before, I love fundraising quizzes, and have had a great time at all of those I've been to in the past.

Follow the link to get all the details, then find a team, raise some money, and do some quizzing for a good cause!

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Trivia Church, or Judas Quizcariot

More and more publicans have been deciding that Sunday is the night for pub quiz. That's great! I wholeheartedly support this trend and will probably be checking out a quiz myself this coming Sunday. That means I'll have a new quiz to review, and we won't have another month go by without a post.

The latest entry into the Sunday quiz market is Rowan's Roof, which had such a good time with their Canada Day special, they've decided to keep it as a regular Sunday fixture. It will be run by IQ2000, so it should be a sharp quiz with the same excellent multimedia show. I head that the prizes last week were pretty impressive, too. The quiz starts at 7.

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Nobody Suspects A Thing

Canada Day is fast approaching, and what better way to celebrate than with a quiz? I suppose I can think of few, but they all involve extenuating circumstances, so let's just leave those off the table for now. So, as a gift to you, my fellow Canadian residents and transients, I present with two new quizzes! Or rather, two quizzes heretofore unknown to me. Although I am octopus-like in some respects, I can assure that I am a completely normal human being, and thus cannot be everywhere at once. Anyhow.

Vancouver Trivia Party (is now/has been for some time) running two weekly pub quizzes. You'll find one on Tuesdays at The Academic in Kits, and the other on Wednesdays, at the Blarney Stone in the loins of Gastown. Both quizzes advertise a 7:30 start time. I haven't had the chance to attend either yet, but given the name and the locale, it sounds like it will be a riotous occasion indeed.

Will your local quiz be running on Canada Day? Beats me! You may want to check ahead of time just to be sure though. I can tell you for certain that my local Tuesday quiz at Mr Brownstone will not be running Canada Day. If you fear you may suffer from IQ2000 trivia withdrawal, fear not, as Mr IQ2000 will be running a special one-off quiz at Rowan's Roof, in Kitsilano.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

East Side Craft House

Where: East Side Craft House, located at the corner of 41st and Knight

When: 8:30PM Friday night, every single week.

Web Presence:  The Quizmistress presiding has a facebook group, free answer every week

Team Info: Doesn't seem to be a limit, but bring a dozen people at your own risk. I'm having none of it.

Prizes: This is still the same engaging Lucky Key Trivia made popular at the Cove and The Fray. In case you've forgotten, here's the deal. Top teams each round get a key with a name on it. You do better, you get more keys. At the end of the night, The Quizmistress draws a key out of a jar, and if you've got the corresponding key, you win a $50 gift certificate. If you merely finish in first, and all your vaunted brains and keys have left you paying the bill anyways, cheer up — you get a free pitcher, as is your right.

Format: 3 Rounds. 15 questions per round when I was there. Free beer to be won in a lightning round, as well.

Food and Drink: The food's alright, and Coal Harbour 311 Lager is on special for $3.75. A word of warning: The word "Craft" does not carry the same connotations it does at watering holes such as Portland Craft or the taciturn Craft. You'll find the usual suspects from Driftwood, Whistler, and Phillips, but also less "crafty" beers, like Molson and Rickard's. So, while there is something for most tastes, don't hold out for any Heady Topper.

Friday nights have always been a tough go for people who like to quiz. On one hand, there is no work the next day, and you want to go out and have some drinks with friends, without having to worry about a quiz going on too late and you turning into the proverbial pumpkin. On the other hand, bars know that you'll be heading out anyways, and don't need fun events like a quiz to draw in thirsty mouths and bulging wallets. As such, you can imagine how excited I was to hear that East Side Craft House (née The Elephant Walk) was starting up a quiz on Friday nights. If you're short on imagination, I'll tell you: I was quite excited. 

East Side Craft House, contrary to most other bars that run pub quizzes (except the Cheshire Cheese), is a community pub, complete with Keno machine and that weird video poker thing that BCLC runs. It doesn't stand cheek by jowl with other trendy establishments filled with people, but shares a rather forlorn intersection with Duffin's Donuts, a Shell, a Money Mart, and Atlas Custom Cabinets. The quiz doesn't seem to draw a lot of the younger, "hipper" crowd that most quizzes draw, but rather a full house of locals with a few transients mixed in. I'm starting to feel like I'm writing a bird blog here, but I think I'll leave that to my sister. Regardless, the crowd is friendly and most people seems to have a good time.

The quiz starts promptly, and is ruled with a friendly iron fist by veteran quiz host Debbie, a.k.a. The Quizmistress. She knows what she's doing, keeps the quiz running, and takes limited shit. I maintain that her "I'm always right, but if you think you were right and can prove it, I'll let you challenge, but you lose 2 points if I'm not convinced" rule (paraphrase) should be the gold standard for adjudicating disputes. Fortunately, there was none of that necessary. The questions are similar to those that were asked at the Cove/Fray/Ceder Cottage so long ago, and presumably at Gargoyle's now — not the most challenging questions you'll find, but fair and covering a broad range of topics. Deb knows her audience well, as I noticed more sports questions than normal at this quiz, which was met with general acclaim. Given the crowd's enthusiasm, I feel she could ratchet up the difficulty on them a bit, though

You may notice I'm not really saying a whole lot of anything, but that's because it is a well-run quiz with no major flaws, so there isn't all that much to say! Apparently Debbie has pneumonia last week, but I was hardly able to tell, so obviously she knows how to handle this quiz. For newcomers, I got the impression she enjoys asking questions about the Middle East, so maybe study up on that fascinating region. I suggest starting here. I think I may have complained a bit in the past about her quizzes taking a bit long, but the fact is that little time delays here and there are a lot easier to stomach on a Friday nights. You've got nothing else to do, and all weekend to do it in, after all.

Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Pub Quiz: A fun quiz on a Friday night, and held every week to boot. It's a little bit on the easy side for my tastes, but it is leagues better than anything else on a Friday. 

Never forget

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

The Five Point

These five points
Where: The Five Point, 3124 Main Street

When: 8pm every Wednesday

Web Presence:  You can get info from both The Five Point's Facebook page, and you might possibly, maybe, get some info at the Facebook page for Smarty Pints Trivia, who run the show. You may recognize them as the guys who run the quiz at Falconetti's

Team Info: However many you can fit at your table

Format: Once again, about 40 questions plus a name that tune, multiple choice, and a picture round. At halftime all scores are wiped out, so you get a first half winner and a second half winner, but no overall winner.

Prizes: Each half will yield up 3 possible prizes for the top three teams - The night I was there, the prizes were a pitcher of beer, a gift certificate, or 2 bombers of beer for take-home consumption, which I was a fan of.

Food and drink: The Five Point offers a $15 burger and brew deal on Trivia Wednesdays as well as $3.50 shots of Jameson, if you feel the urge to give the other teams a head start. The nachos were impressive, and poor chip management left us with more toppings than chips at the end of the day.

You'll find The Five Point's quiz starting up every Wednesday at 8PM-ish. Use your sports-sense to determine how late the quiz will start based on whatever sports are playing that night. The Five Point is a very popular place to watch a game, and a particularly interesting contest might end up with the quiz being delayed a minute or thirty. Fortunately, the night we were there was game 5 of the historically excellent Blackhawks-Kings series, and we were treated to an absolutely sublime overtime, finally ended by Michael Handzus, who I was certain had been shuffled to the hockey graveyard, but I guess is so bad ass that hell spat him back out.

Not these five points
The Five Point is a place that wears its opinions on its sleeve — or signboard. And the Five Point's opinion is that you should be inside, drinking their drinks. The atmosphere of the quiz reflects that, with copious amounts of liquid prizes, a game of heads or tails for even more drinks, and cheap beer. It is only four dollars for a can of PBR, although the $6.50 pint Fat Tug is actually cheaper on a per-fluid ounce basis (assuming CAMRA standard 20oz. pints), and you get a better beer, in this reviewer's humble opinion. If the alcohol doesn't get your mood up, you can always rely on the music, which is smoothly played between questions, keeping the party started, up in here, and all the time, in spite of being on neither Grove Street, NOR in the U.S.A.

I feel Mike's take on the host in his review of a previous Smarty Pints quiz was accurate AND clever, so I'll just cede to the past on this one:

Tandem emcees Greg and Ryan run the show here and share the hosting and question-writng duties between them. The hosting is good: the two work a kind of deadpan, affectedly-listless Brian-Posehn-slash-mumblecore-cinema angle which may not play to all tastes, but I found entertaining.
Once again, the questions are excellently done, the music round is tough AND fun ( But seriously seriously seriously that Johnny Cash album again! Someone needs to send these kids to Red Cat or Neptoon and find some other cover songs). The In The News round, often an excuse for lazy newspaper skimming masquerading as question writing, is well done. More importantly, it doesn't feel like they're playing with kid gloves on. Altogether, a good quiz that was a lot of fun, and a great choice for a Wednesday night on Main Street. In fact, I think it may be the only one in the area.

Pro Tip: If you want five free points, come equipped with a list of the top five films at the box office in the current week. They say it comes up every week, so you may as well be on a level playing field with the rest of the teams out there. Now, go forth and win some prizes.

IMHO (Imperious Mephistopheles, Horned Oppressor): A good quiz, strong enough to not be
lost in the competitive Wednesday quiz market. It would be nice if more people stuck around after the game, but we must concede the existence of other hobbies in this wide world.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

The Bimini

Where: The Bimini, 2010 W 4th Avenue

When: 7pm, Mondays. It might start a little late in the face of a hockey game, but at least you'll have a distraction while you're waiting for the quiz to start.

Web Presence: Nice Guys Trivia, who run this party, have a Facebook page you can follow.

Team Info: Bring as many as you want, as far as I can tell.

Format: Similar to the Calling's old Monday night quiz, it is 8 rounds, split up into 2 halves of 4 rounds apiece. The entirely Vancouver Province-based "In the news" round remains, alas.

Prizes: Beer, beer, beer and more beer. I think there is also a 12-week long trivia "season," and I'm not sure what the grand prize for that is. A trophy? A plaque? I'm not certain, but I think that free beer is a pretty safe bet. I think you might also have a chance at winning some swag here as well.

Food and drink: The usual Donnelly pub fare - 2.5-3.0 on Yelp level food, and drinks that are a bit pricy if you navigate away from the safe shoals of the specials. Fortunately, the drink specials are really good. $3 beer? Now that's a newsletter I subscribe to!

So I finally, finally got the chance to go down to West Fourth and try out the quiz night at The Bimini. I don't tend to frequent Donnelly pubs that often - their style isn't really my style, but I was glad I was finally able to make the bus ride down to Kitsilano and enjoy the bumping quiz at the Bimini.

Much as the former quizzes at The Calling, this is run by the nice guys of, well, Nice Guys Trivia. It has been at least a year or maybe even two since I last took in a Nice Guys quiz, and it seems they've tightened up their game. The quiz is much the same as I recall, and very similar to the boys at Falconetti's quiz - A picture round, a general knowledge round, a music round, multiple choice, break. More general knowledge, more music, "In the news," and then Bonus questions, which is a nice way of saying questions that are tougher than average. They also add some beer into the mix, with two games of pub standard "Head or tails" for pitchers and pints mixed into each half. Fun fact: In Russia, this game is called Орёл или ре́шка - "eagle or lattice" which is way, way cooler. Independent of country, it is also a pretty good excuse to stand up and stretch.

The man gets around
Now, the main complaints I had back when I bitched out the quiz at the Calling were that it took too long, the music round was simple, and the "Today in the Province" round was a joke. I'm very happy to say that almost all of these have been fixed - the quiz started late due to a (fairly dull) Habs loss, but we ended on time, and the Herculean labour of marking 25 teams did not seem to stretch on nearly so long. The music round had a few groaners, but was a lot better than I recalled. I do wonder if Johnny Cash's American Recordings are owned by every single quizmaster in town, though. They're good, but it seems I hear them all the time in music rounds. Finally, what about the "In the News" Round? Well, two out of three ain't bad. At least they didn't ask how much a flight to Cancun was this time, but I think they can do better than this. Unless of course, they get a kickback from Postmedia to mention their colourful picture book every week. In which case, keep it up and make some paper.

The questions remain more on the "everybody have fun" end of the spectrum as opposed to "let's bust some trivia chops" end, which is a good fit for the location/crowd. The atmosphere here is great, as the place is swarming with teams - most of whom seem to be wise to the strategy of reserving a spot ahead of time and then showing up as the quiz starts. Competition was fierce, and the top teams had some impressive scores, if unimpressive names. If you're playing to win here, make sure you know your music - out of a (roughly) 90 point quiz, a little over 40 of the points came from recognizing songs and artists. Get yourself a music expert or two and a copy of the Province and you just might waltz away with it. Even if you don't swing with the quizerati at this event, you can enjoy the charming hosts, Ed and Jeff, Perhaps you could just play a game of pinball, pool, or foosball in the surprisingly well-stocked games room. Or maybe, just maybe enjoy a three dollar glass of beer or two. There are worse things to do on a Monday night.

If you read just one paragraph, read this one: A fun, lively quiz, where you stand a pretty good chance of having a fun time. It tends a bit towards the easier side, and make sure you read the Province before showing up.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Warning: Incoming Quiz

I found out about a bunch of quizzes in town recently. I'm not sure how new they are, but they were news to me. So here they are, in roughly the order I learned about them

-Caffe Barney, on Granville Street is running Rock Trivia tonight at 7:30. This appears to be a one-off quiz that is related to their irregular yet popular Music Trivia nights. It is written, hosted, and sponsored by Red Truck Brewing, so it sounds like it will be a lot of fun. A shame that I'll have to miss it tonight.
-The Five Point, also on Main, runs a quiz every Wednesday at around 8PM. They have DJ Thunder/Junk spinning 80s hits afterwards, so I feel that this may be run by the same people as at Falconetti's. Or maybe it is just a coincidence. I suppose I'll walk the five blocks and find out one day.
-London Pub, at East Georgia and Main Street, is now running a quiz on Sunday nights, starting at 7PM. Aside from a single quiz at the legion, they have this night almost to themselves.
-The Gallery, at UBC, has a quiz every Monday at 8PM sharp.

Not much luck for people who live downtown, but those who live around Main Street should enjoy this. I guess I've got even more work to do. Next up, a review of the quiz at The Bimini, which I (finally) made it out to.

The pride of Burnaby

Monday, 19 May 2014

Keep Calm And Trivia On at The Locker Room Pub

Well, shit. It looks like this was a short-lived quiz night, and only lasted a few weeks. Hopefully, someone else will carry the torch of sports-oriented quizzing in Vancouver.

Where: The Locker Room, 395 Kingsway (at 12th)
"Where good friends meet"

When: 7pm, Thursdays

Web Presence: As this is another IQ 2000 Trivia quiz, you can find hints, photos, and daily questions on their facebook page.

Team Info: Get some friends and show up! I think the max team size is 7 or 8.

Format: Four rounds of 10 questions each, marking after the second round. As per standard operating procedure, a great slideshow to accompany the questions and answers. Price-is-right style tiebreakers.

Prizes: Myriad. I've seen everything from novelty drinking gloves to PBR hoodies given away for the top prize. Pitchers tend to find their ways to enthusiastic teams. The prizes are continually shifting, so you'll have to show up to find out what is being handed out on any given night.

Food and drink: The food is the kind of food you would expect to find in a sports bar. The beer selection is your standard quiver of megabreweries, with a few craft beers to satisfy the choosy drinker. Once again, Parallel 49 continues to impress me with the establishments I can find them in.

Quizzes pop up in the most unlikely places sometimes. I would not have expected The Locker Room, née Maverick's, to have entered the Vancouver trivia night battleground, but here we are. As far as I can recall, this is the first sports bar in town to host a quiz. Since you are asking me, I'm going to go ahead and say that is interesting. Why? Well, read on. 

Keep Calm and Trivia On is the latest hosting venture for IQ2000 Trivia, who styles himself as the Justin Timberlake of Vancouver pub quiz. I would agree that he is certainly well-dressed, and definitely the most famous member of the boyband that was the UBC trivia club. Once again the questions are well written, the hosting is savvy, and the pace brisk. Given the clientele and target demographic, the questions are shifted a bit away from tech culture compared to other IQ2000 quizzes, which seems like a good decision.

So, with the technology questions largely excised, what will fill in those holes? Current events, history, some Canadiana, and... hmmmmm? Are there hockey games on all the TVs? Is that Kevin Durant I see dunking over there? Are the Indiana Pacers melting down RIGHT NOW? Of course! We're at a sports bar, people, and the operative word here is sports. The quiz comes with a dedicated sports round, which is easily the best ten noodle-scratchers (to borrow a phrase from guest-poster Rob) about the sporting world in town. Mostly hockey-related, but unafraid to foray into baseball, basketball, or either football, the round is a joy for a sports fan like myself. I've never been able to give a rational explanation as to why I want to stand up and yell SPOOOOORRRRTTTTTSSSSSS half of the time, but I've always enjoyed sports quite a bit, and this quiz scratches that itch quite thoroughly.

That said, the quiz is still in its infancy. The uptake is fairly low at the moment - it isn't yet experiencing the frenzied full houses that some other trivia nights are. The main draw of the bar is its impeccable sports programming, but when there isn't a game on, the ambient crowd is a bit low. It's too bad, but I remain hopeful for the future. Don't let this put you off, though. If there is a particularly gripping hockey game going on - Montreal in overtime, Stanley Cup Finals, etc), the quiz will usually accommodate the hockey watchers. For the health of the quizmaster, that's probably the right call.

Greg Adams! Greg Adams!: A well-run quiz that is a bit sparse on attendance at the moment. Hands-down the best sports questions in the city, and good prizes.

Thursday, 15 May 2014

The Fernwood Inn Quiz (Victoria)

Yes, I know the name of blog. It very clearly states "Vancouver" Pub Quiz. But British Columbia's second (or third, or fourth, or...) city is a short bus and boat ride away, so I visit, and I'm lucky enough to have friends there. Sometimes these friends go to pub quizzes, as they once did in a past life in Vancouver. And sometimes, they even write me a review. What can I do but post it? The talented and lovely Rob Freeman, late of News1130 Radio, sent me this review of the monthly quiz at the Fernwood Inn in Victoria. From here on in, all words are his. Take it away, Rob!

When: First Tuesday of every month, starting around 8:00

Cost: $5 per player with all proceeds going to the Fernwood Neighbourhood Resource Group

Venue: The Fernwood Inn is a cozy, neighbourhood local with a pretty decent selection of local beers and a kitchen to match.

Format: The quiz is broken down into 8 mini-rounds of five questions each, and into two halves of four rounds. Marking is done at the mid-way and end of the quiz by passing sheets around the tables. The quiz moves quite quickly of which I am a fan! There was a tie-breaker to decide the night's champion and it was done by giving one person from each of the teams one minute and a sheet of paper to construct a plane. The plane which glided the farthest was the winner [ed. This is a pretty terrible way to break a tie, but I concede it is kind of fun].

Questions: This quiz bills itself as the not-so-serious pub quiz. Having said that, quite a few of the questions were noodle-scratchers.

Host: Benji is a tall, lanky, quirky, British chap who is quite charming and flamboyant. He keeps the quiz rolling along swiftly and is quick-witted [ed. Catch him in action in Vancouver at the Park @ English Bay!]. He also plays music beds which become the soundtracks to each mini-round.

Prize: The first place team received a $50 GC to The Fernwood, although from the host's comments, it seems the prize fluctuates from month to month.

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Trivia For a Good Cause

Do you ever go to a quiz and wish that your money could go to a good cause, like the entry fee of The Cascade Room's quiz did? Does your thirst in this regard remain unslaked? Do you live in the tri-cities area and look with envy upon the sea's bounty of quizzes Vancouver is treated to? Well, your prayers have been answered, if only for one night, as there will be a fundraising quiz next Friday, May 23rd in Coquitlam!

The details: The quiz is being run to raise money to help rebuild the Mossum Creek Hatchery in Port Moody, which was very unfortunately destroyed by fire on Wednesday, December 11th. The quiz night will be held at Centennial Secondary School, which you can find at 570 Poirier Street in Coquitlam. The quiz runs from 7 PM until 9:30, will feature prize draws, and coffee and cookies. Hopeful Hemingways of the world will be disappointed, alas, since there will be no alcohol this night. As it is a fundraiser - you have been paying attention, yes? - the cost is $20 per individual, and the team limit is 6 per team.

I won't be able this event due to the early outbreak of wedding season, but I'll have to make my way to Coquitlam for a trivia night one of these days. All sorts of one-off quizzes seem to be popping up there. Could it be metro Vancouver's hot new quiz destination?

Also, stay tuned for a guest review (!) of a quiz in Victoria (!!!), and an upcoming review of a brand new quiz night!

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Mr Brownstone

Head up: Mr Brownstone is no more, but I'm told the quiz will return at the same location once the new owners open up. 

A quick word: The quiz at Mr Brownstone is run by IQ 2000 Trivia, a quiz company started by my friend Mike. If you were really paying attention, you would also remember when I said that he is the very same Mike who writes reviews for us here. I guess you could call this "Full Disclosure." Set you indignity level accordingly, and let's get started.
It's not actually so easy
Where: Mr Brownstone Bar and Grill, 2904 Main Street

When: 7pm, every Tuesday. It has been pretty full the last few weeks, so showing up ahead of time would be a smart idea. 

Web Presence: As mentioned the quiz is run by Mike Whitaker, aka IQ 2000 Trivia. Their (The royal Their) facebook page will keep you reminded of upcoming quizzes, drops subtle hints, and will keep you entertained with quiz questions throughout the week.

Team Info: I think there is a team size limit of seven, but it isn't too strictly enforced. There have been no 12 person mega-teams as of yet, so this rule has kind of been a technicality.

Format: Four rounds of 10 questions each. In practise it is more like 2 rounds of 20 questions each, with teams swapping papers to mark at the intermission after round 2. Slideshow accompaniment as well, which is nice.

Prizes: For a quiz with two official sponsors, the prizes are a pretty pedestrian pitcher of beer for the top two teams. Not that a gift pitcher should be looked in the mouth or... wait... Nope. Crossed my wires on that comparison, so let's move on. Last week 4 passes to the Scotiabank Theater went to the winning team, so it looks like the prize pool could be expanding.

Food and drink: I'd never given much thought to the food and drink at Mr. Brownstone before, but now that I've been there I actually like it quite a bit. Their tap selection is smaller than most craft beer bars, but it is well maintained with local beers and several interesting microbrews from the US. The food is good, and Tuesday is cheap taco night. I haven't had them yet, but all reports I've heard are that it is tasty.

Did you used to quiz a little, and then a little wouldn't do it, so you need to quiz more and more? Do you want to participate in a quiz on Tuesday, but can't be bothered to leave Mount Pleasant? Well, worry no longer - the fine people at Mr Brownstone Bar and Grill have heard the cries of the voiceless, and given us a great quiz to those of us who live South of Broadway and East of the Main.

I was curious to see how Mike (We remember him, right? I don't need to say that he writes for us sometimes again? I already did? Great!) would handle the transition from quizzer to host. Not that I doubted his ability for a second, but I was excited to see how he would synthesize his myriad opinions on quiz into an actual, living, breathing, hosted organism. The good news is that after a long and complicated labour, the result is a quiz that combines the best of most worlds. It is a fast paced, funny, and interesting quiz, accompanied by a multimedia presentation which, while a few steps short of spectacle, just may be the best in the town. It is pretty clear from the start that a lot of care went into the making of this quiz. The answers are often accompanied by short film clips, snazzy pictures, Goldie the singing waitress, and total system restarts from the high quality ASUS laptop running the slideshow.

So that's the show, but what about the questions themselves? You can't put lipstick on a pig, or so I'm told (though Google Image Search disagrees). The questions are quite good, traversing a wide range of topics, and spanning the spectrum of difficulty. The standard quiz topics you are used to make their appearances - Geography, Drinks, Sports and History, but you'll also see more questions that don't commonly get touched on - internet culture, video games, fashion, Canadiana and more detailed questions on TV shows/movies. It's a lot of fun to see people flexing their deep knowledge about Adrian Mole, or show that they were paying attention in between games of Street Fighter II, or recalling old Bob Newhart routines. IQ 2000 is not shy at all about throwing legitimately challenging questions in there, which I love. For the most part the quiz is fair and fun, but there are definitely a few questions that will separate the brains from the super-brains. After all, we can't have tiebreakers every week.

Kick him on down the line: A challenging and broad quiz that will be a lot of fun for everyone, from quiz maniacs to people just looking to have some fun.

But they do get a free pitcher of beer!

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Yet more quizzes?!?!

The boom cycle of quizzes in Vancouver continues - I'm pleased to have found out about 2 new quizzes tonight, one which is currently running, and one which will start up next week. First off, Displace Hashery is running a Monday night quiz, aptly titled "Quizplace" - weekly at 8:30PM. Secondly, The Locker Room Pub on Kingsway will be starting a trivia night on Thursday evenings as of May 1st. It will be hosted by IQ 2000, aka our very own Mike, who has seen some success at Mr. Brownstone in recent weeks. Speaking of that devil, look for a review of said quiz coming soon! Spoiler alert: it is a lot of fun. After that, I'll be doing by best to venture into deepest, darkest Kits to attend The Bimini's quiz night, which likewise sounds like a good time.

It is officially more work to go to every quiz night in the city than I ever thought it would be.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Woo Hoo! Classic Simpsons Trivia

Where: SD Galleria + Sushi Lounge, 4316 Main Street

When: 7pm, one Monday a month. As with EXP Bar's video game trivia, I'm not entirely certain of the dates. See their website below for the up to date information.

Web Presence: The official website for the whole continent spanning operation is found here, but the Vancouver-specific twitter account will give you better information regarding upcoming events in town.

Team Info: 6 people per team, but they don't enforce this at all - if you can fit around a table, you're golden. Also, this is one of the rare quizzes that has a fee! the first week was $5 per team, but it has since been upped to $5 per player. Officially the steepest entry fee in town, but check out the prizes!

Format: Half quiz, half Simpsons love-in. 3 rounds of 10-20 questions each, with an intermission after each round where you watch an episode of a certain television show.

Who indeed?
Prizes: Check this out! There's a whole boat of prizes to be won here, mostly through raffles. You can win things such as: Simpsons comic books, autographed by the talented Nina Matsumoto! Simpsons guest star action figures! A one-third obsolete Simpsons day calendar! $25 Gift Certificates to SD Galleria! An impressive display of more or less interesting swag.

But... what about the team that wins the whole thing? What about the Gay Robots From Star Wars, as the kings of trivia mountain were so named? Well, they get a reserved table for next week (see below), a pitcher of beer, and their entire team immortalized in a drawing by Bongo comics illustrator James Lloyd. Best prize in town? Very probably. I guess the only question is, who gets to keep it?

Food and drink: The food is sushi and various other Japanese delicacies that you'll recognize if you've ever been out for sushi before. There is also a bonus menu with Simpson's themed dishes (Million Dollar Birthday Fries!A Galaxy of Prawns!). The drinks are ludicrously cheap, from their $3 Ryes to their $4.25 pints of White Bark. They aren't full pints, but that might help you out in the long run, especially at that price.

I've a friend, who shall remain nameless, even though he has a name. He lives in Toronto now, and has been frothing at every single orifice that one may politely froth over the fact that Toronto has a Classic Simpsons trivia night. It has been running there, and in cities throughout the United States for several years, and last month Vancouver was lucky enough to have Woo Hoo! Classic Simpsons Trivia open up a branch on the west coast. It is even polite enough to put on its show on a Monday, when there are relatively few quizzes to compete with.

The next order of business is an administrative warning. Even though it has only been around for 2 months, it is proving immensely popular. There were few seats remaining at 6:30, let alone 7. The place starts filling up around 6, so I suggest your team shows up early in order to guarantee seats for all. You can send someone down to hold a table, but you'll have a tough time reserving more than 5 chairs, and if you do manage to do so, you're probably an ass. But that's enough judgement for now.

The show goes along swimmingly with able hosts Simon and Leonard enthusiastically sharing MC duties before a captive audience. The enjoyment was widespread, although yr corrsp thinks that it was a little like shooting fish in a particularly crowded barrel, but he is a noted curmudgeon. A question I don't want to answer: Would people have less fun if everyone just gathered in a room and watched 3 episodes of the Simpsons without host or quiz? Somehow I doubt it.

That is not to slander the questions - they were fantastic. First off - it was all "Classic" trivia - i.e. seasons 1-9 i.e. the seasons you watched and loved. Also, the questions were all about on-episode content - gags, characters, plots, etc. Nothing about the creators or episodic ephemera, which means there will be no nasty surprises at their definition of trivia. There were few gimmies, and those were hilarious, so no one minded. A delightfully unique aspect to this evening was the post-question reactions. At most quizzes, a question is read, followed by (a) the muffled sounds of furtive discussions, or (b) stunned silence, based on whether or not a team knew what was up. Here the question would be met with either (a) howls of laughter or (b) the same stunned silence, which was excellent.

The difficulty ranged from easy-medium, to fiendishly hard. If you've only seen a few episodes and think you can remember who Homer's boss is, this is probably not for you, although you will still have a lot of laughs. But if you, like your humble author, grew up watching the Simpsons religiously at their 5:30 and 7:30 time slots, these questions will delight and challenge you. I can sense that you may want a brief taster, so I'll leave you with a sample of the fine work of Woo Hoo! Simpsons Trivia:
- True or False: Riding the monorail gives you mono?
- Name any 2 of Homer's lifelong dreams in the first 9 seasons.
- Troy McClure turned down the role of McBain's sidekick in McBain IV: Fatal Discharge to direct and star in what film?

Play "Taking Care Of Business!": Do you enjoy watching the Simpsons? Come on down.

Yours truly

Monday, 14 April 2014

Literary Trivia Quiz @ North Shore Writer's Festival

Sadly, it is an event held but once a year, but a quiz I had this much fun at deserves a writeup of its own.

The Ambiance: Located in the Atrium across the street from the North Vancouver Public Library, the quiz was held in very comfortable confines - a reserved table for each of the 20 teams, a bowl of pretzels, a paper table cloth to doodle on with attendant pencil crayons, and friendly beer and wine prices. CBC personality Grant Lawrence, hot on the heels of a reading from his new book, did an fantastic job of hosting. There were a few technical difficulties which resulted in a bit of a late start, but no one seemed too perturbed - until we had to clear out at the end. And did I mention the trophy? No? Well, there was a trophy. Easily the most impressive trophy I've seen at a quiz night. 2 and a half feet of glory, wrought in imitation gold.

The Main Event: The quiz itself was 3 rounds, and veterans of The Cascade Room's once and hopefully future quiz would have surely recognized the format and answer sheet. The first round was a mix of literature questions and trivia questions with a literary introduction. Round 2 saw a rather fun picture round with follow-up questions, and the third round, well, it was the third round.

To expand on the third round: there are a couple of ways of interpreting the phrase North Shore Writers Festival Literary Trivia Night. The most naive interpretation is that it is a literal trivia night at the NSWF. The next, probably that it is a Writer's Festival trivia night, held on the North Shore. But, the final, terrible truth was this: It is a a literary trivia night about North Shore Writers. The third round consisted of questions based on works of North Shore writers, a brilliant touch to remind us of where we were, and why. The questions were tough, responded to with general acclaim from the locals, and went a long way to deciding the victor.  Rightfully so, I say. The quiz writer promised me that next year would not have so many questions on North Vancouver's literary pedigree, but brushing up on your Douglas Coupland and Malcolm Lowry couldn't hurt.

I haven't mentioned the quiz's writer, Julie Backer, but I would be remiss if I didn't mention the Kindly One herself. On top of writing an excellent, difficult, and balanced quiz, she was on hand to adjudicate any answering disputes. Woe to the team that asked for her mercy, as more often than not the vengeful Eumenide would descend, scorpion whip poised, and deny their petition. It was a harsh, yet fair justice. I appreciated it, but I can't imagine everyone did. So next year, make sure you know your John Kennedy Toole from your Timmy O'Toole, your Hester Prynne from your John Prine.

The Movie Version: An excellent quiz that, like any narrow focus quiz, is a challenge and a lot of fun. If you like reading, there's no good reason you should miss this.

Monday, 31 March 2014

A Book Quiz For Your Quiz Book

An eagle-eyed reader has brought yet another quiz to my attention: A Quiz Night for the Friends of the Coquitlum Public Library! It all goes down on Friday, April 11th at 7:30PM. Teams of up to 7 people, with a $25.00 entrance fee, all going to a good cause, by the sounds of it. Located at the Coquitlam Public Library, City Centre branch at 1169 Pinetree Way. Do you live in the suburbs and bemoan your relatively lack of pub quizzes? Here's a great chance to knock minds to raise money for the community, and on a Friday night, no less!

Unfortunately for me, I've got a previous engagement at the North Shore Writer's Festival, so if anyone can attend and let me know how this was, I'd love to hear it.

Also, I've disabled comments on the Master List & Calendar. Not for any reason as dramatic as you might think, but rather I don't find them aesthetically pleasing now that we've had more than 2. Comments will work the same on all other posts, of course. If you want to contact us, send an email to, and we'll get back as soon as we can.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

There Is No Easy Mode @ EXP Restaurant + Bar

Where: EXP Restaurant + Bar, 309 W Pender Street

When: 7pm, one Wednesday a Month. I'm not entirely certain which Wednesday, but it usually appears to be the third or fourth. It usually is a full house, so getting here before 7 is a wise choice. 

Web Presence: West Coast Geeks Vs Nerds, the shadowy Wizard-figures behind this quiz, create Facebook events for each week's quiz

Team Info: 5 per team.

Format: There are two 20 question rounds - "Normal Mode" and "Hard Mode". You thought it was just a cute name? Each round is scored separately, with attendant prizes. The scoring operates on a unique combo system - a correct answer is worth 100 points. If you answer the next question correct, that is worth 200 points. The next question, if answered correctly, would then be worth 300 points for your team. It maxes out there, with 4th, 5th and so on being worth 300 points1. There are bonus questions worth 50 points attached to some questions, and a Bonus Round at the end of each mode, which can be worth up to 600 points.

Prizes: They are legion, and awarded to the top 3 teams in each mode. They range from swag, to videogames, to XP (loyalty points at the restaurant). I'd tell you more, but I've never won one here.

Food and drink: Most of EXP's notoriety comes from the fact it is themed around videogames, not from its food. It is fairly average bar food, but with delightful themed names. The beers are standard downtown beer prices, with specials on such rare and exotic libations such as "Corona." While $3.75 is not a bad price for a bottle, it wasn't quite enough to entice me, and I stuck with a 6 dollar IPA. There is also an extensive mixed drink list, mostly neon concoctions with cute names

Two common gripes I have with pub quizzes in general are that the questions aren't difficult enough2 and they rarely ask questions about video games. Aggravatingly enough, There Is No Easy Mode at EXP Restaurant + Bar solved both these problems at the same time. Hosted by an affable gentleman whose name I did not catch, There Is No Easy Mode is a slick presentation, making good use of the impressive multimedia system at EXP, all the while being the harbinger of doom as far as my video game knowledge ego is concerned.

The questions are great - very few gimmes, and almost no "soft" questions. Rounds are themed ("Zero to Hero", for example), and the questions pull from nearly the entire spectrum of electronic gaming - from Apple II and Jaguar to mobile games and the XBox One, they're all here. Also, they don't fool around. Normal Mode is some questions that a casual gamer may know a few, but Hard Mode is as advertised. You don't know the name of the Frog from Super Mario RPG? Or the theme song to Altered Beast? Well, you may not be extending your combos for very long. The competition is sharp. If you finish in the top 3, you deserve it, as there are some Omega-level teams out there - which I suppose you can expect from a quiz with such a relatively narrow scope.

Any complaints? They don't tend to ask much about sports games, which are totally also games too, right? And maybe they could add a third round, just because we're all having so much fun with the first two. But in general, I think they handle their content with skill and a keen knowledge of their audience. If you like video games, you should come out and enjoy the show, and try and win some swag. If you're reading this, wizened overlords who run WCGvN, keep up the good work. this night's a gem. But ask more questions about MVP Baseball 05, which is a masterpiece.

Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A: If you love video games, you should come to one of these. And then you should realise you like pub quizzes and use your brains at other ones. If you like pub quiz but not video games, then I think this could be a rough night for you.


1 Although I will respectfully point out that most fighting games actually DECREASE the damage you do as the combo goes on, but I'm sure they know that, based on my performances at this quiz.
2 OK, let's see if I can avoid opening a can of worms that will make me sound narcissistic: I'm not saying I know all the answers or even most of them, but I would absolutely love it if more places asked tough questions, instead of (pardon the impending french) stupid shit like what a group of kittens (adorable) or narwhals (pointy) or crows (annoying) is called, or what X-phobia is or whether or not some completely absurd thing is true or false (if it sounds implausible, it is probably true). Surely there is a market for a quiz that will bust us down a notch, right? Okay, I'm done.

A Noble Quiz Embiggens The Smallest Man

It would appear that this month's trial run of Woo Hoo Classic Simpson's Trivia was a success, and they'll be running another in April. This is great news, for a number of reasons:

1) It is "Classic" Simpsons trivia  - covering the nearly unimpeachable first 9 seasons.
2) I wasn't paying attention and missed it, so now I have a chance to go.
3) Maybe it'll stick around even longer. There has been a Toronto edition of this quiz and it sounds like great fun. 

The quiz will be on Monday, April 21st, at Simply Delicious, AKA SD Galleria Sushi Lounge, which you can find at 4316 Main Street, starting at 7 PM. I've added it to my calendar, you should at it to yours!

Check out more info at the official Facebook Page.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

New Quiz Announcement(s)

<Professor Farnsworth.jpg>

It is always fun to be able to report on a new pub quiz coming out, and today I get to do it twice.

First off, the second annual North Shore Writers Festival literary trivia quiz is coming up next month on Friday, April 11 from 8:30-10 pm at the North Vancouver City Library (14th and Lonsdale). As someone who likes to look at words on pages, I'm quite excited. I hope to see you there. As an added bonus, it is hosted by none other than CBC's own Grant Lawrence.

Next up, is even better news - a new weekly pub quiz is springing up at Mr Brownstone Bar and Grill on Main Street. The first edition will run Tuesday, April 14th at 7pm, and I'm going to guess that it'll run onTuesdays after that. Good news, since the Mount Pleasant has been without a weekly quiz for a while, and better news, since Vancouver Pub Quiz's own Mike will be running the show! I promise I won't let him write the review for this one. He knows his stuff, and I expect it to be a fun time - I plan to be there.

The only possible downside, is that this new quiz only adds to the embarrassment of quizzes on Tuesday nights - baby makes 9. Hopefully the next few to pop up decide that Monday is also a perfectly good night for a quiz. We've only got 3, making our most quiz-deprived night of the week.

And if you've read this far, you may as well keep reading - the QuizUp app for Android was released a few days ago, and if you like trivia and haven't tried it yet, it's a lot of fun. If you want to play a game, hit me up - my user name is Vancouverpubquiz, appropriately enough. It is an excellent <strike>time waster</strike> study tool.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Falconetti's Smarty Pints Trivia


Where: Falconetti's East Side Grill, 1812 Commercial Drive

When: 8pm every Tuesday

Web Presence:  The Falconetti's facebook page posts reminders about the quiz, albeit somewhat irregularly

Team Info: However many you can fit at your table

Format: About 40 questions plus a name that tune, multiple choice, current events, and a picture round. At halftime all scores are wiped out, so you get a first half winner and a second half winner, but no overall winner

Prizes: Choice of shots or pitcher for top three teams in first and second half, as well as for particularly funny joke answers.

Food and drink: Falconetti's is famed for their tantalizing menu of gourmet sausages; meanwhile, the veg-heads will enjoy the creative poutines on offer.

Falconetti's pub quiz takes place every Tuesday at 8pm, downstairs. Specificity is important in this case because if you go upstairs at the same time, there's stand-up comedy, and if you go on the wrong day, you may find yourself, variously, at either a karaoke night, a Walking Dead screening party, a DJ set, a live rock-country performance, or even a burlesque show.

Appropriately, Falconetti's quiz is the venue in microcosm: a quirky mashup of sundry cultural elements with the common thread throughout being a simple dedication to fun, in all its various forms. And in this regard, Falconetti's is a success.

Tandem emcees Greg and Ryan run the show here and share the hosting and question-writing duties between them. The hosting is good: the two work a kind of deadpan, affectedly-listless Brian-Posehn-slash-mumblecore-cinema angle which may not play to all tastes, but I found entertaining.

The question writing is better: the two have a knack for writing questions that are, as mentioned above, a lot of fun. My team had a great time trying to puzzle out what year Alex Trebek shaved his trademark mustache or what Ontario city was recently anointed Canada's serial killer capital (who'd've thought it was sleepy little college town London? It's always the quiet ones you have to watch out for.) The name that tune round, an eclectic mix of shameless dance-in-your-seat jams ripped from Napoleon Dynamite's iPod, was equally enjoyable, in spite of a minor ID3 snafu which misidentified the artists -- and artists they are -- behind "Whoomp! There It Is."

Between questions, Falconetti's brawny sound system blasts yet more music at you, again, hewing closely to the establishment's holy gospel of party ye all the time. Fun, yes, but so loud as to make intra-team discussion somewhat difficult. Let's by no means lose the music -- that would be nothing less than apostasy -- instead, just ratchet it down from 11 to 10.

(On that note, stick around after the quiz for an outstanding '80s hair metal set by DJ Thunderjunk, a man who it must be said is no less than a connoisseur of the genre, as attested by him playing a Ratt song that wasn't "Round and Round.")

Bottom line, Falconetti's is a lot of fun. Definitely worth a check out.


Friday, 28 February 2014

The Bottleneck Trivia Night

Where: The Bottleneck, 870 Granville Street, right beneath the Commodore

When: 8pm, Wednesdays. You probably don't need a reservation.

Web Presence: This facebook event will keep you up to date.  Confusingly enough, they just keep changing the date for the event instead of setting up a facebook group or page or whatever.

Team Info: The team limit is 8, but they are kind of lax on enforcing it.

Format: 2 Rounds, 15 questions each. No dedicated picture or music round, but those questions do pop up.

Prizes: Top prize is an almost unfathomably good 4 tickets to a show of your choice at The Commodore - apparently including shows that are sold out at the box office. Some quick math: 4 tickets to see Montreal's own Chromeo will set you back $199, including the ridiculous 50 dollars in extra fees. Right of the bat, this puts The Bottleneck's top prize into some pretty rarefied air. Second place is 2 tickets, and third is 0 show tickets. I think it was "merely" a free pitcher of beer.

Food and Drink: $3 beer special (I think it was 1516 or similar). One of our party got some food, and it looked pretty tasty.

The Bottleneck is one of those places that sprung up in the last year while I was away - except that it has been there for more than 2 years. I guess I've never really paid much attention to what happens on that stretch of Granville. Contrary to my expectations, the bar itself as quite pleasant, appropriately hip without seeming like it was putting on airs. Talking Heads posters? Check. Moon, starring Sam Rockwell, screening in the background? Check. A somewhat idiosyncratic collection of Granville bar stars, groups of college kids, and British Columbia Supreme Court Justices (really!)? Check. The Justices did not stick around for the quiz, alas.

The quiz is a short one, and goes by fairly quickly. The night is ably hosted by Matthew Orr, self-proclaimed trivia wizard, who also writes the questions himself. I prefer it when the host crafts their own questions. Not that larger companies don't write good quizzes, but the personal touches are nice. Of course, you get the bad alongside the good there, but it does make it easier to give them shit if there's anything you don't like. Not that you should, it's uncouth.

The questions were solid, although a large number verged on the "You're probably guessing this one" side. While I won't dispute that the current age of Charlize Theron is indeed a trivial fact, it isn't much fun to try and come up with it at a quiz night. There were quite a few 'Name the Year' questions, which were a little bit more fun to tackle. There was also quite a bit of Vancouver/BC/Canadiana. I had a blast trying to remember my Steve Francis facts (The Franchise!) as well as who was Premier in February, 2011, but people from out of town will find this tough. If you're a local, you'll probably have a lot of fun with these questions. Visiting from the United States/Kingdom? You might find a respectable percentage of the questions functionally impossible.

At the end of the night, top honours went to a team with 21 out of 30, a good 7 points clear of your correspondents. Difficult and cleverly crafted questions second guessed us, crossed us over, and left us with broken ankles. There is room for the quiz to grow, so come on down and take a shot at winning the best prizes a Vancouver Pub Quiz has to offer.

If you just want the short version, it was a good quiz with even better prizes.

Monday, 24 February 2014

Trivia Night At Malone's

Looks like the Malone's quiz is no more. Requiescat in pace, The quiz at Malone's.

Where: Malone's, 608 West Pender Street 

When: 8pm, Tuesdays. Reservations neither required nor needed. 

Web Presence: The events section of their website confirms the dates of the quiz, if you're confused. 

Team Info: The team limit is 8, and some of the tables seem large enough to support such. 

Format: 8 Rounds and a bonus round, just like that at The Manchester. You can also pull up to 5 bonus points for drawing a picture, so bring someone who can draw, I guess. 

Prizes: $25 gift certificate to Malone's, which can't be used until the next week. While a good plan to get people coming back, it might not do much for someone who's just dropping in for a week. 

Food and Drink: Meh. It won't kill you, but neither will it thrill you. They do have drink specials for trivia night - A Steamworks Pilsner for $4.13. You could do a lot worse than that. 

Freshly arrived from vacation, and having no duties relating to employment at all, we decided to spend our Tuesday night catching up with friends, all the while checking out a new pub quiz. I've known about Malone's for awhile, but due to a decent schedule, I never really got around to checking it out. 

The crowd was thin compared to most other quiz nights, with only about 5 tables competing. I think the quizzers were outnumbered by non-quizzers, which was a first for me to see at a quiz in Vancouver. This could be a result of a slow night, a quiz that hasn't quite gained enough traction yet or maybe since Malone's is attached to The Cambie Hostel, and as such functions as a impromptu meeting place/pre-game/common room for travellers, most of whom aren't hanging out at a hostel for pub quiz. The sound system only seemed to work on one side of the bar, and even then it was pretty fuzzy and tough to hear over the ambient music (no, not like Brian Eno). It appears to be a quiz tolerated but perhaps not encouraged by the management, based on the atmosphere. 

The questions themselves were pretty good. A decent mix of pop culture and more eggheaded stuff. They had a pretty fun photo round were you provided silhouettes of fictional characters and you had to identify them. Art, the quizmaster, erred on the side of sanity and accepted "Tom Hanks and Wilson," based (on can infer) on the assumption that the name Chuck Noland never stuck in anyone's head. Everything followed a similar flow to that of the Manchester (I think they are both run by Nice Guys Trivia, who specialize in Donnolly pubs, but I'm not exactly sure), but the music round was orders of magnitude harder. Instead of getting a point for knowing that a song was either done by Guns N Roses, OR that it was titled "Sweet Child 'O Mine", the quiz was instead fastidiously awarding half points for knowing that the song was "Manic Monday," and that the band was Reliant K. While I'm not a fan of arbitrarily difficult questions - I agree with Mike re: The Cove's facebook only questions - I do like deep knowledge questions like that where you have to earn your points. If I was a Reliant K fan, I'd have been very happy to get that. 

Another plus for this quiz is that it goes fast, and that there are a lot of questions. I approve of a "No fucking around" approach to a quiz. It will save us all time in the long run, and we've got a finite supply of that. There's a lot of questions, and you don't manage to feel rushed, or bored due to extensive downtime. The balance is deftly struck. 

The food is borderline average bar stuff, but the drink specials are decent. One suspects they don't have your proper 20oz pints per CAMRA standards, but that's a rare bird indeed.

In conclusion, this felt like a good quiz run in a decent locale that was more or less indifferent to its existence. The amiable and speedy quizmaster runs a tight ship, and I was happily surprised to have as good a time as I did. In a head to head with Relish, I don't think it has quite the atmosphere yet, but the questions were solid, in one reviewer's opinion. We were also told that they will be running the equivalent of a "Quiz of Champions" sometime in the future. I don't have the information on that yet, but one can assume the prizes will be larger, and the competition fiercer. We'll make sure to keep you posted.