8 Best Trivia Nights in Metro Phoenix
It's a packed house when teams from all over the Valley compete during Sunday night trivia at Crescent Ballroom in downtown Phoenix on June 14.
Which is the largest desert in the world? (Answer: the Antarctic.) How many presidents have died while in office? (Answer: eight.) Where can you impress your friends and your date with all this knowledge? (Answer: team trivia.)
Whether you're a genius or just highly competitive, a humblebragger or a boozehound along for the ride, team trivia nights are the perfect places to test knowledge — and sometimes friendships — among drink specials. Beer may not breed brains and wine might not make you a winner, but plenty of Valley venues give you the chance to flex your mental muscle. We've rounded up eight of our favorite game nights sure to please anyone in your pack. From nerds and gamers to groupies and pop culture junkies, there's team trivia night for every would-be scholar.
First Draft Book Bar
One would be hard-pressed to find a more perfect venue to host a team trivia night then a bookstore. Changing Hands Bookstore, arguably the most well known independent bookseller in the Valley, is starting a Summer Trivia Series at their midtown Phoenix location at The Newton, on Camelback Road and Third Avenue. In-house café and watering hole, First Draft Book Bar, holds the monthly night, which starts at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, June 16. The summer series will continue at 8 p.m. on Thursday, July 16, and from 4 to 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, August 16. Hip Historian Marshall Shore, known for his quirky outfits and own knowledge of obscure Arizona trivia, will emcee. Shore has played entertainer for other game nights, including Jackalope Ranch’s bingo bonanza and The Clarendon’s annual Christmas Light Tour.
Players can indulge in happy hour pricing, featuring $1 off bar snacks like nuts and olives. Treats are coupled with $1 off draft beer and house wine from the bar’s well-curated selection, sporting an array of Arizona-based indulgences, from brews to grapes.
Brennan's Pub 'N Grub
Things get a little salacious at Brennan's Pub 'N Grub, off Bell Road and 34th Way in North Phoenix. Saturday nights are reserved for sex-themed trivia — and unlike questions about past presidents or largest deserts, these questions matter, and you will be judged (be it by the bartender or that blue-eyed beauty the next table over) on your correct answers. It may not be a game for the faint of heart or easily embarrassed, but with drinks specials and sizeable pours you’ll have enough liquid courage to get you through.
Trivia starts at 9 p.m. and winners take home cash prizes. Throughout the night other goodies are given out to random players: adult videos and toys are fair game for all. Not so confident in your abilities? You may want to rethink bringing date. Or at least doing a trivia test run first. Brennan’s prides itself in being a staple for area regulars but welcoming to all, so saddle up to the bar and order a stiff drink.
Doc & Eddy's
Among the shuffleboard and Big Buck Hunting arcade games, in between near monthly pay-per-view UFC fights, longstanding bar, grill, and game hub, Doc & Eddy's, offers a different kind of gaming challenge: cerebral.
The Tempe outpost of the neighborhood sports bar joins the lineup with team trivia at 8:30 p.m. on Thursdays. There are no size restraints for group play. Patrons have been known to show up solo and latch onto an established gang — a great way to make a new drinking buddy, or at least get a round taken care of. Happy hour specials run daily from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m., so show up ahead of game time to study up or chat strategy over elevated bar food and strongly poured drinks. Additionally, appetizers are $1 off from 4 to 7 p.m.
Bragg's Factory Diner
It’s rare to find quiz questions dedicated to one set topic. Not so at Bragg’s Factory Diner’s monthly Classic Simpsons Trivia night. The all-ages themed event focuses on both plot points and blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moments from the long-running comedy. Players should know the first 10 seasons inside and out, as questions don’t delve into anything past the ‘90s. Bit parts and quotes are fair game, so study up! Intermixed with the quizzes are a "Stump the Host" segment and character contests sure to make it feel like Springfield.
Nerd Night's Simpsons test tends to run from 8 to 10 p.m. on the third Saturday of every month. Look for it this summer on June 27, with dates to be announced for July and August, at the Grand Avenue restaurant. Seating is limited, so get there early to enjoy Simpsons-themed plates like the "IRS Burger," "Ned's Three Alarm Chili," and "Homer's Patented Space Age Out-of-This-World Moon Waffle."
You might expect Crescent Ballroom’s weekly Sunday trivia night to be based on little-known facts about bands both obscure and popular. Instead, every game of 10, six-question rounds tests topical knowledge — from the latest news stories to the last week’s "Game of Thrones" story line.
Bartender Bruce Heimbuck comes out from behind the bar to emcee the culture quiz but fear not, there are still plenty of food and drink specials. Enjoy $2 PBR and $4 Four Peaks cans, $4 glasses of house wines, and $3 Reyka Vodka drinks. Dine-in deals include $6 nachos and $3 bean burritos from in-house restaurant Cocina 10, plus dollar chips and salsa.
Doors open at 5 p.m. with pre-game music in the lounge. Play starts at 6 p.m. Prizes include bar tabs, beer koozies, and concert tickets, though Heimbuck has been known to give out records and grab bags of goodies just bought at Circle K.
Maybe there’s something in the beer, because three British-themed establishments host a handful of the most competitive, most consistent, and most drunken trivia nights around.
British Open Pub
Scottsdale’s British Open Pub takes on trivia on Tuesdays, and the place fills up fast. Table reservations are encouraged, especially with happy hour running all day. Enjoy pub favorites like fish and chips and Guinness amongst whiskey specials. The questions are created and game sponsored by Team Trivia, and nationwide organization known for other quiz nights around town. Those in the know will benefit from checking the company’s website, www.teamtrivia.com, for a free answer to the night’s quiz. With clue’s running the gamut it’s helpful to show up armed with buddies — and at least one known answer on your side. Trivia begins at 7 p.m. and top three teams receive bar prizes.
Rose and Crown
Weeknight competition continues on Wednesdays at Rose and Crown, nestled in downtown’s historic Heritage Square. The expansive patio and three-room bar are elbow-to-elbow with potential Einsteins and eggheads alike, and though play begins at 7 p.m. the former house is filled by 6:30 p.m. Need more incentive to leave work early? Happy hour ends once play begins, so soak up $3.50 drafts and well drinks while you can. Plus, there’s a gimme question for early birds, which will help your team win your way to $35, $25, and $15 gift cards. Don't let team names like "Balls, Balls, Balls" fool you: these diehards take their two round, three category play seriously.
George & Dragon
Thursday nights belong to central Phoenix's George & Dragon, and the pub play is one of the more popular nights for Phoenicians of all brainy backgrounds. Games between friends (and couples) can get heated, and while team play is encouraged we've seen many an individual fill out their own sheet ... and guard it with their lives. The 40 question game runs straight through, no breaks, for upward of two hours, and winner receive comped bar tabs — perfect for a night where pounding pints can run up to $20 or $40, depending on your table's stamina.
Owner David Wimberley creates the questions and calls out the clues. He's been doing so for the better part of a decade, from trivia about his home country of England to the beer you're drinking — with dirty jokes snuck in between. Play starts at 9 p.m. and the place gets packed, so show up early. Then stick around for Wimberley’s stories, like how he handles hecklers or the time he chased a drunk and disorderly patron down the street.
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