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.