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

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