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


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