“Man, you guys suck!” The trivia host said as he came by our table table to retrieve his brightly colored buzzer. He wasn’t wrong. My friend/trivia partner and I probably should have had less to drink. We probably should have been playing closer attention to the questions, or stopped second-guessing ourselves into wrong answers. Now, the contest was over, and our chances at a $10 bar tab were utterly dashed. Of the six or so teams competing, we came in dead last.
In recent years, bar trivia has emerged as a popular pastime for bar patrons to put their knowledge to the test in a quiz show format, complete with dynamic and entertaining hosts. In these contests, teams which typically consist of a handful of friends, vye against each other for meager prizes—usually a small amount knocked off of the winning team’s bar bill. As my luckless friend and I quickly learned, it’s a form of entertainment where only the fast and the nerdy survive.
Like karaoke, bar trivia offers participants a chance do something at their local watering hole besides pound drinks. Bars are eager for something to draw customers on the slower nights of the week, and contestants get the chance to put their pop culture knowledge to work. But what kind of person goes to a bar on a weeknight to mentally dominate drunk strangers?
“In my opinion, there’s trivia people, and then there’s not,” explains John Egbert, who hosts several trivia nights each week for the company Excess Trivia (it was Egbert who chided my friend and I that evening when we completely bombed). “I have a lot of people sign up just to try it, and quickly realize it’s not for them.”
By day, Egbert is a working artist—he recently designed beer labels for Columbus’ Elevator Brewing. By night, he leads bar patrons through rounds of buzzer-style (think Jeopardy) and multiple-choice rounds of trivia in his role as host.
“When I started this I wasn’t a trivia guy. I did not have fun playing Trivial Pursuit; I didn’t watch Jeopardy,” Egbert says of his beginnings in what has become a full-time pursuit. He only fell in love with trivia after tiring of his onetime role of karaoke host.
“I felt like with karaoke, one of the downsides was dealing with really busy nights and everybody wanting to sing—and not wanting to wait to sing,” Egbert explains. “With trivia, everybody gets to play at the same time. Everybody gets to be the star.”
If public recognition is a motivator for their audience, you have to wonder what would inspire Egbert and his fellow hosts to choose this unique vocation.
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Jason “Squirrel” Davis runs his own trivia company, currently hosting three nights each week at local bars. He is perhaps best known for his first and longest running show at The Gateway Film Center. By day, he works in the accounts payable department at Capital University.
For Davis, it’s the chance to stretch his legs as an entertainer in a way not afforded to him in his day job that keeps him coming back. “As a host, it’s the performance aspect,” Davis explains. “I like to think I’m funny. My style is more of a fun game. For the teams, it’s more about fun than the challenge.”
To Mike Durst, who like Egbert is among the dozen or so hosts employed by Excess Trivia, it’s the social dimension that makes the work appealing.
“It’s pretty much my entire social life. My social circle has basically turned into people I know through trivia,” says Durst. “It’s nice, I get to go to work and know that I’ll see friends of mine and have a couple of beers and see what’s going on in their lives the past week.”
Davis’ sentiments are shared by Egbert, who also appreciates the opportunities for socialization that trivia affords to host and player alike. “I’m pretty selfish about it. I look at it like, it’s my night too, so I want to have a good time while I’m doing it,” he explains. “I always tell people, if you’re a real try-hard, overly-competitive type, my night might not be for you. I run a fun game, and it’s a reason for you and your friends to get together at a bar.”
With the prevalence of fan culture today, it’s likely that the brains of most people are overflowing with a wealth of trivial knowledge on at least one topic: sports stats, Breaking Bad, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter—whatever your bag may be—bar trivia offers a small form of redemption for countless of hours spent in idle media consumption.
The next time you’re hard up for something to do on a weeknight, spare the neighborhood bar your 10,000th karaoke rendition of Kelly Clarkson’s “Since U Been Gone” and give trivia a try. You might even make some new friends along the way. •
With its more than 60 craft breweries (and counting); 150 beer bars, growler shops, and bottle stores; and over 300 restaurants serving craft beer, Columbus is one of the largest craft beer cities in the Midwest. Celebrate our booming booze culture with Columbus Craft Beer Week, now through May 25.
There are dozens of beer-centric events planned very day this week that we’re dying to put on your radar. And, don’t forget to take advantage of the one-time $5 off Lyft credit to or from any CCBW event with code CRAFTBEERCBUS.
Come join for free pinball and craft sour selections from Platform Beer Co.! Our kick-off party for CCBW is going to feature 8 different Sours from Platform and two free Pinball machines. Platform will be in attendance on Monday night to get the party started and Brewcadia will be offering free pinball the whole week!
All week long at The Crest Gastropub, Parsons location, they will be featuring an awesome Bacon and Beer menu with Land-Grant Brewing. What’s better than bacon and beer? How about lamb bacon, duck bacon, Irish bacon, Italian bacon, beef bacon, coconut bacon, or whatever wonderful morsels of bacon we decide to work with paired alongside an array of Land Grant Beers.
For Columbus Craft Beer Week, Perfect Pour is very excited to have a sampling of the Outer Reaches Sour Program from Rhinegeist, and host Rhinegeist’s brewer, Luke Cole in-house to talk about the brewery, the beers, and all things beer related. Don’t miss this unique opportunity!
Up to 12 teams can compete for the prestigious title of Lineage Brewing Jenga Champion. Free to enter. Prizes awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. Tournament starts at 6pm and goes until a new champion is crowned.
Join us for another adventure with Hoof Hearted Brewing from Marengo, Ohio! Hoof Hearted swept the city with their amazing twist on brews back in 2011 and have become one of the most saught after/followed breweries in the region. Chef Joe will be preparing 5 special courses paired with 6 beers for a night not to miss. Cost: $65
Want to get the inside scoop on how to brew epic beers yourself?! Join our team of geeks as they help walk you through the process step-by-step. Together, we’ll explore some of the best and strangest ways to brew a good beer and you’ll get an insider look at how BrewDog does it too. The club is free to all who join!
Join Lineage Brewing for a Beer and Hand Pie tasting. We think our hand pies are the perfect pub food, and we want to show you why. We’ll pair four mini versions of our hand pies with 4 our our beers that we think go perfectly together.
Join us on Wednesday, May 22nd at 6pm for a five course beer pairing dinner with our friends at Little Fish Brewing. Each beer will be hand selected by owners and brewers Jimmy Stockwell and Sean White, to accompany the chef inspired menu. $50, five courses, five beers, limited to 30 seats.
Attend a free class to learn the basics about beer, featuring stylistic examples from two awesome local breweries. Lagers, Belgians, Ales, light to dark, we’ll take your taste buds on a fun trip. Reps from both breweries will explain each beer in detail and answer any beer related questions. This will be a fun and educational time sipping and discussing BEER.
*Seating will be limited, please RSVP with Perfect Pour by calling 614-553-7666, or comment in the event post on Facebook.
Our experts are putting together our most mouth watering pairing yet and we are bringing it to you for Columbus Craft Beer Week! This pairing will have 5 different Brewdog beers paired with 5 special desserts made by our super talented, in-house chefs, just for this occasion. Cost: $25
Join us in the Land-Grant Brewing Co. taproom May 17-19 and May 23-25 and order a Meat Sweats pairing flight. We have paired each portion of the Ray Ray’s world famous Meat Sweats Box with one of our tasty beers. We are donating $2 from each flight sold to the Pink Boots Society!
Stop in for a chance to win a Jones Snowboard prize pack and a Adirondack chair prize pack from 4-7PM! Alaskan beers include White, Icy Bay IPA, and Blonde. Two Roads line up includes Two Juicy, Lil Heaven, and Persian Lime Gose!!!
Tribute beer night is our tongue in cheek way of paying tribute to some of the breweries who’ve helped us along the way while having a little fun at their expense. Stop in for a few special release beers named in honor of other local breweries/beers. Guess the breweries and win some prizes.
Ever wish you had the PERFECT pierogi to savor with your favorite beer? Olentangy River Brewing Company and Sophie’s Pierogis are ready to show you! Join us as we prepare a selected menu of pierogis to pair perfectly with a selection of craft beers in a flight — find your favorite and come back for more!
Jackie O’s beer specials and exclusive tappings. Trivia starts at 8pm. Win some Jackie O’s swag and try some awesome beers from our friends at Jackie O’s. Final list will be released closer to the event!
We’ve teamed up with the very talented Chrissie’s Creations to bring you a flight of four tasty beers paired with four delicious cupcakes! Tickets are $25 with proceeds from the event going to the Heart Center of Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Tickets are limited and can be purchased in advance or on the day if available.
Join us at The Grand Event Center during Columbus Craft Beer Week on Thursday, May 23 as we collaborate with Combustion Brewery and Taproom out of Pickerington, Ohio for our first Bites & Brews event. Throughout the unique five-course dinner, you will pair each chef-inspired dish with beers ranging from ales to IPAs. Reservations are required in advance and can be made on Eventbrite. Cost: $65
The BBOM returns for a third year. We’re still not a casino, but we’re giving you the chance to “gamble.” Of course not for money, that would be illegal and we wouldn’t be here next year for Beer Week. It works like this, you give us few bucks and you get to draw from the BBOM. You may get something you would rather give away or you may get a great craft brew. Can you handle the risk?
We partner with Sierra Nevada to crank out a tasty southern spread as a way to raise money for the Mid-Ohio Foodbank. 100% of the crawfish dinner sales are donated to this great central Ohio organization. It’s our chance to help those that need help the most. Tickets are just for dinner. Cost: $20
Nostalgia Brewing has partnered with The Drunken Donut to provide a flight of four Nostalgia beers and four boozy donuts made with the paired beers! PLUS a 5 oz sample of our collaboration Boozy Donut Beer – all for only $18! This event will be limited to the first 60 who purchase a ticket and will take place on our patio from 6 PM – 8 PM on 5/24/2019. Cost: $18
This amplified beer school and tasting will be hosted by one of Cicerone certified humans. Our museum will be turned into a massive tasting room! We will walk you through the brewing process and all the geekery that goes into making the epic crafts you love! (there will also be plenty of beer tasting too!)
The band, a self-described mix of pop, blues and soul, is fronted by singer/songwriters Adam Darling and Stephanie Amber. Appropriately named, Honey and Blue combines Darling’s sultry, bluesy sounds with Amber’s soulful, whimsical take on lyrics and harmony.
A great wrap up to a long Columbus Craft Beer Week, our new in house food provider Short & Stout Kitchen will be providing some delicious comfort food, while we play a curated selection New Orlean’s legend Trombone Shorty and other Jazz greats! Abita drink specials + House Hurricanes!
We are welcoming Cat Welfare to our taproom during beer week for a fundraiser and adoption event!! One dollar from every beer sold from 12-3 will go to support Cat Welfare‘s mission. They will also be bringing some cute cats that are up for adoption. Of course, this is beer week so we will be selling buckets of Assistant Manager Beer (named after our brewery cat) in cans.
So you know these guys can brew, but how good is their aim? Come find out as Pretentious Barrel House hosts the first annual Skee-Bus Brewer’s Cup. Cheer on your favorite brewers from Land Grant, Lineage, Parsons North, Ill Mannered, North High, Seventh Son, and Dankhouse as they go head-to-head to see who rolls the mightiest and which brewery is the best *wink wink*. Victors walk away with the highly coveted, very expensive, Brewer’s Cup and the right to donate proceeds to the charity of their choice. Plus, you might walk away with some great prizes.
Join the BrewDog crew at DogTap Columbus on Saturday May 25th to [unofficially] close out Columbus Craft Beer Week Presented by Giant Eagle with a bang! Tickets are free – just follow the link to claim yours! This epic party will feature an amazing tap list with a special Summer showcase on our container bar, brewery tours, bands playing throughout the day, Doggy pool party at our Dog Park and much more!
Johnny from Jackie O’s will be spinning records and setting the mood for an end of the week celebration to beer week. Specialty bottles and drafts of Jackie O’s brew will be on hand with a pairing menu from the kitchen (available all week during beer week). If you’ve ever wanted to dance at a restaurant during dinner this is your chance.
Nurse your Craft Beer Week hangover with this family friendly event in our upstairs bar. We will have cartoons, face painting, and coloring for your small children…we will also have lots of adult beverages including special drafts just around for beer week. Entry is FREE.
May 17 is National Pizza Party Day—a celebration that is near and dear to our hearts at (614). And what better day of the week for an office pizza party than Friday?
To help you and your gang decide which pie(s) to go with on this momentous occasion, take a look at this roundup of some of our most primo pizza content. Bone apple teeth!
The best pizza in C-Bus according to Columbest Voters
The results for Columbest 2019 were announced in the May issue of (614) Magazine, with Harvest Pizzeria taking the top spot in the “best gourmet pizza” category, and Mikey’s Late Night winning “best traditional.”
26,000+ Columbest voters can’t be wrong. Let these hometown heroes provide the pie for a pizza party you won’t soon forget!
Pizza – Columbus Style
Did you know Columbus has its own distinct style? Edge to edge toppings, crispy crust, cut pub-style – these are some indications that you’re dining on Columbus’ own signature ‘za. Not sure what we’re talking about? Refer to this list to see what we mean.
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In Pizza We Trust
Need to grab a pie on the go? Look no further than a Pizza ATM conveniently located at OSU campus. Fair warning, since reporting on this a few months ago, we haven’t been back to see if this still exists. Something tells us this was either too weird of an idea to last, or too brilliant to ever die.
C-Bus pizza on the big stage
At this point, our fair city is no stranger to coverage in national publications – and our pizza is no exception. Earlier this year, food blog Rave Reviews included Columbus’ own Rubino’s and Mikey’s Late Night Slice on their Pizza Road Trip roundup of the best pies in the nation.
Deep dish (if you must…)
Is deep dish more your thing? We (I) think there’s something wrong with you, but that shouldn’t stop you from enjoying the sauce-on-top monstrosity you crave. Check out our top picks for the “best” deep-dish style pizzas in town.
Celebrating National Pizza Party Day? Of course you are! Let us know your pizza of choice in the comments.
With no end in sight for the craft beer boom, upstart breweries are leaving the city behind for the wide open spaces of the suburbs.
According to a report from Drink Up Columbus, Outerbelt Brewing will be the latest to toss their hat into the central Ohio Craft Beer ring when they open their doors in less than a month.
Located in a former Lowes hardware location at 3560 Dolson Ct. near Carroll, Ohio, Outerbelt Brewing is not far from Lancaster.
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Outerbelt is scheduled to open to the public on either June 8 or June 15, depending on construction deadlines. The new brewery will occupy about 25,000 square feet, with about 5,600 square feet set aside for a taproom. Plans also include a spacious 2,000 square foot patio.
Upon opening, Outerbelt plans to offer 10 beers on tap, as well as cold brew coffee.
Look for Outerbelt this Friday, May 18 at the Columbus Craft Beer Week kickoff party at Giant Eagle Market District, where some of their beer will be available to try. Outerbelt Beer will also be on hand Saturday at the Six One Pour Ohio Beer Festival at COSI.
To view pictures and to learn more about Outerbelt, check out the full story at Drink Up Columbus.