WRITER | LISA BECKER CAMPBELL
West Michigan is teeming with team trivia activity!
Across West Michigan, every single day of the week, at all sorts of establishments, trivia buffs can compete to be the master of the most useless knowledge! While silliness abounds, trivia nights are now more sophisticated than ever, with national establishments running local shows.
The success of these partnerships is a common thread that is succinctly summed up by one of these “sophisticated national establishments”. “Our single goal is making the most enjoyable trivia experience you’ll find,” according to Ken Brill, director of PR and Marketing for Geeks Who Drink.
Geeks Who Drink is a Denver-based company that hosts roughly 20 “Pub Quiz” events in West Michigan. The company employs dozens of quizmasters, writers, fact-checkers, graphic designers, and artists, according to its website.
The quizzes are modeled after those traditionally held in pubs in Ireland and the UK and cover such subjects as celebrities in trouble, wordplay, bad television, and beyond.
“Our goal is to try and make you feel smarter, not dumber. We keep our questions varied so that everyone can participate and contribute to their team,” stated Brill. Monthly themes enhance the novelty, and events are always free.
The quizzes consist of eight rounds of eight questions each, led by a quizmaster. Each quiz has two audio segments, one in the style of “Name That Tune,” and another that uses soundbites from movies and TV.
Teams of up to six people write down their answers and submit them after each round. An annual Geek Bowl championship, dubbed the biggest live trivia event, takes place each January.
In West Michigan, Geeks Who Drink hosts events at many venues, including:
Arcadia Brewing Co., 701 E Michigan Ave. in Kalamazoo
Atwater Brewery, 201 Michigan St. NW in Grand Rapids
Creston Brewery, 1504 Plainfield Ave. NE in Grand Rapids
Grand Rapids Brewing Company, 1 Ionia Ave. SW in Grand Rapids
Harmony Brewing Company, 1551 Lake Drive SE in Grand Rapids
New Union Brewery, 400 W Main Street in Lowell
Railtown Brewing Co., 3555 68th St. SE in Dutton
Stella’s Lounge, 53 Commerce Ave. SW in Grand Rapids
57 Brew Pub, 13310 W Washington St. in Greenville
Team Trivia Michigan also hosts numerous competitions across the state. Search the website for locales by day of the week or by the current day, which may readily produce as many as 25 competitions across the state.
“Team Trivia is such a success that we often need to bring in extra seating,” attests Amish Chhabra, one of the owners at the Lake Michigan Sports Bar in Grand Rapids.
The Original Team Trivia has been hosting live trivia game shows for over 20 years and operates in 18 states. Shows are free and include Team Trivia™, Team Bingo™, and Toxic Trivia™, which is suited for adults only. For Trivia, nightly prizes are usually $40 gift certificates for first place, $20 for second, and $10 for third. Team size does not matter. League play offers prizes up to $1,500 per season.
Some of the many West Michigan locales for Team Trivia Michigan events include:
Cheers Saloon, 3994 Plainfield Ave. NE in Grand Rapids
Uccello’s Pizzeria & Sports Lounge, 8256 Broadmoor Ave. SE in Caledonia
Peppino’s Pizzeria and Sports Grille, 5053 Lake Michigan Dr. in Allendale
Lake Michigan Sports Bar, 4072 Lake Michigan Dr. NW in Grand Rapids
Home Team Grill in Walker, 4322 Remembrance Rd. NW in Walker
Brann’s Steak House, 12234 James Street in Holland
Sporcle is a tech company established in 2007 whose mission is “to provide fun through trivia,” according to its website. In addition to providing trivia entertainment on the web and mobile devices, Sporcle hosts live trivia shows across the country.
The Pub Champions Trivia League is hosted at Sporcle Live Bars, in divisions that are determined by regions. Free sign-ups and theme nights contribute to the fun. Teams of up to five pay a nominal entry fee and can win cash prizes. Tournaments are held at the end of each season, where winning teams compete against other bars for cash prizes.
In Grand Rapids, Sporcle Live competitions are held at:
Birch Lodge, 732 Michigan NE
Gipper’s, 2929 Kraft Ave. SE
Hideout Brewing Co., 3113 Plaza Drive NE
JD Reardon’s, 940 Monroe Ave. NW
Slows Bar BQ. 435 Ionia Ave. SW
Geeks Who Drink, Team Trivia Michigan, and Sporcle make it easy for everyone in West Michigan to enjoy team trivia. Their websites are a great resource for experts or novices. Grab some friends, establish a team with a silly name, and enjoy friendly competition to win cash prizes, gift certificates, or special “bonus points” for hitting the dance floor during a music round!