There's More to Do in Pubs than Just Drink Beer ...



Well, more accurately, there's more to do in pubs while you drink beer. The Melrose Neighborhood Pub has recently started a 12-week series of Wednesday night beer tastings they are calling "Best Brew." Maybe I'm a little too much of a low-tech redneck, but the concept of how it worked was a little opaque to me when I first discovered it last Wednesday.

I was sitting at a table with a few friends when an attractive young lady walked up and handed me a flier marked "Tonight's Menu." It listed three different beers and four of Melrose's excellent burger varieties. "Wow," I said, "This looks great! How do I get it?"

"You can't," she replied. "You needed to have texted 'bestbrew' to 82500 before Monday to get your ticket."

Err, OK. Thanks for the menu. But I was intrigued and had to hunt down the details. Here's the skinny: If you do want to participate, do what she said, sometime before noon on the Monday preceding the Wednesday when you'd like to play along. Still with me so far?

The first 150 people who do this will receive a text confirmation that will include a bar code that serves as your admission ticket and will be scanned from the screen of your phone upon entrance. And as long as you haven't turned 30 yet and the lifeclock gem in your palm hasn't started to blink red yet, you're in! (Just kidding about that part. Everybody knows there's nobody over 30 at Melrose.)

Once you're registered, for just $15 you'll receive 10-ounce tastings of the three craft beer selections of the week and bite-size samplings of Melrose's tasty burgers, plus fries. I think there was also some deal where you'd get a pint of whichever beer was your favorite if you text your ratings to 82500, but don't hold me to it. Their new technology confuses me. I am but an unfrozen food writer.

Meanwhile, if you're smarter and hipper than I am (no great feat), you might be a candidate for the new "Geeks Who Drink" Pub Quiz that is coming to town Wednesdays at 8 p.m. at Past Perfect downtown starting on Sept. 15. The organizers already stage over 80 different pub quizzes every week in Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, Utah, Washington state and Virginia, and now they're bringing their trivial talents to our fair city.

Teams of up to six people can play along in these free events with eight rounds of eight questions apiece. Questions are read aloud by the quizmaster, and then teams write their answers on provided sheets and turn them in at the end of each round. The team with the most points after eight rounds is the winner.

How is this different from every other Bar Trivia night you've ever been to? Frankly, I couldn't tell from their announcement. But they sure are enthusiastic about themselves. Here, I'll let you see for yourselves:

Uh, isn’t this just “bar trivia?” Right… and your Grandma’s cooking is just like The
Sizzler’s buffet because, ya know, they’re both just “dinner.” The short answer is, of
course, HELL NO!

In Nashville, most trivia nights are formatted in such a way as to render them
indistinguishable from a dartboard: something to do if you’re at the bar anyway, but
nothing to plan your night around. The format is mind numbingly slow: ask a question,
play a song, Repeat. It’s a game of 20 questions, ZZZ.

A Geeks Who Drink quiz is written to scratch the universal itch for trivia but with more
showmanship and originality. We’ll ask a round called “Hunting, Fishing and Drinking:
The Three Dude Groups” followed by a round called “Wildly Inappropriate First Date
Movies (think The Accused).” The questions are entertaining, so even if your team is
being served a deep dish of last place you’re still having a great time.

Geeks Who Drink quizzes are also unique in that they include two rounds of audio
questions — like name that tune, but with some bite. Examples: Songs We Lost Our
Virginity To in The 1990s, Top 40 hits Butchered by David Hasselhoff, Disco Classics in

Geeks Who Drink has a staff of over twenty question writers and a team of research
librarians who fact check every single quiz. Our mistakes are rare.

Finally, Geeks Who Drink blogs every single quiz, so the day after, players can find
photos of the winning teams, the final scores and a small narrative of the evening’s
festivities on our website:

Now do you see the big difference? Nope? Me neither. Oh well, go check it out and report back here at Bites. I think my palm gem is starting to turn black.

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