Bar trivia makes for fun weeknights in the Roaring Fork Valley
November 19, 2013
GLENWOOD SPRINGS — If anyone really knows, "What's in a name?" Matt Soltesz and David Darling might just be the guys with the answer.
The co-workers are regulars at Grind Glenwood, 720 Grand Ave., the hip downtown burger joint that serves up such trendy menu items as local, grass-fed beef in its gourmet cheeseburgers, specialty tater tots with bacon and cheese, and multiple Colorado microbrews on tap. But it's not just the burgers and beer that lure them in on a more than-weekly basis.
Get with the game
The popular establishment's new Geeks Who Drink game night has Soltesz and Darling, and their trivia team called Trout Farm, making regular appearances on Tuesday nights.
"Our team name is Trout Farm, but we prefer to be referred as trout farmers," Soltesz said. "Although the name was off the cuff at the time, it's come to represent something much deeper. Check out the English urban dictionary."
A quick visit to urbandictionary.com reveals that a trout farm is a bar or restaurant with regulars, also known as trout farmers, that provides a safe, self-contained environment for people caught up in the harsh realities of the world. The tongue-in-cheek team name is one of many that the Geeks Who Drink trivia night is inspiring as the event grows in popularity.
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"It's been so much fun, quickly becoming a Tuesday ritual," Darling said. "Our team is pretty diverse and revolving: Doctors, teachers, artists, musicians, designers. Whoever can make it that week."
Grind's Tuesday trivia night typically features about 12 teams of up to six people with clever names such as reigning champions 1.21 Gigawatts, Awfully Awesome, Danger Zone!, Throat Punch, and Whatcha Talkin' Bout Willis. Soltesz said the combination of trivia, food and drinks, is a great way to make it through the work week.
"Hearing the names of other teams has been hilarious," Soltesz said. "Plus Grind has a great beer selection that never gets old, and the food is always the best."
Geeks Who Drink quiz questions, which start off easy at the beginning of the night and progress in difficulty, range from pop culture to history. To provide variety in the questions, each week features a different theme such as cult classic comedy "Arrested Development," actor Bill Murray, and baseball.
"We never know what the theme will be for that week. So you can't really practice," Darling said. "You just have to hope you can recall some headline, song name or random fact."
Although Trout Farm hasn't quite placed first – more like fifth, sixth and 11th – the team keeps coming back for the camaraderie of it all, Soltesz said.
"It's always friendly, of course. It's fun to get into it, and many teams have returned each week," he said. "Some strategy is involved but nothing major. It's a great way to socialize and it offers more than just sitting at a bar."
Grind Glenwood is one of 300 restaurants and pubs in 25 states that host the Geeks Who Drink bar trivia platform, developed in Denver, each week. To learn more about the growing Geeks Who Drink Grind craze, Grind partner and manager Chris Heinz suggested people interested in attending a Tuesday trivia night check out http://www.geekswhodrink.com to learn more.
"I think the best explanation is to check their website," he said. "They explain it better than I."
As for Grind's next Geeks Who Drink event on Tuesday, expect to see Trout Farm as the trivia champion contenders.
"I think it's a necessary addition to our weekly community calendar," Soltesz said "This was obviously needed and the turnout each week reflects it."
Trivia for a Good Cause
Random questions have always paired well with the craft food and brews at Carbondale Beer Works, 647 Main St. The microbrewery and wienery known for handcrafted favorites such as the Mt. Sopris Milk Stout and Avalanche Creek IPA, along with the popular Deacon Dog – a Colorado elk jalapeno cheddar sausage with house stout mustard – hosts Thursday trivia nights almost every month. Emceed by Janet Gordon and Nic Degross, co-owner of Carbondale's Aloha Mountain Cyclery, the Beer Works atmosphere turns uber competitive with the locals.
Beer Works trivia nights are especially popular with the teacher set. The valley's educators are known to form powerful teams of inquisitive minds who celebrate their wins with happy high fives and cowbell ringing when they score. Questions focus around sports trivia, pop culture topics, and audio musical categories.
And, it's all for a good cause.
In October, Beer Works presented trivia night to raise money for the Lyons Community Foundation/ Flood Relief Fund. This month, the Beer Works trivia night supports AspenOUT, an organization previously named the Roaring Fork Gay and Lesbian Community Fund that promotes tolerance, understanding and diversity through education, community action and service. The questions start at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 21, and participants are encouraged to arrive early to accommodate the rush of teams.
All game proceeds from the $5 suggested donation and $1 from every Carbondale Beer Works microbrews purchased on trivia nights directly benefit the featured nonprofit's fundraising efforts. In the past, Beer Works has supported such area organizations as Extreme Sports Camp and KDNK Community Access Radio.
In the spirit of fundraising, KDNK has hosted a few trivia nights of their own at the Pour House in Carbondale and Glenwood Canyon Brewing Company in Glenwood Springs in 2012. The trivia questions at the Pour House ranged in topic from local history and cowboys to rodeos and pop culture and featured KDNK hats and T-shirts, CDS and Pour House gift cards.