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