Published in Wilton Magazine September/October 2018 issue
If there’s one thing I’ve learned as a newly christened adult living on my own, it’s that having events or activities to look forward to is extremely important. There are some days when a caramel macchiato with an additional shot of espresso just isn’t enough, when everything is so overwhelming that you need a light at the end of the tunnel to get you to the finish line.
The light that shines for me during a long work week is a simple one: It’s Tuesday nights with a group of my besties rocking bar trivia.
My lowly beginnings in the bar trivia scene started at my college’s pub where I got hooked on the thrill and the prizes (I won Yankees tickets and got bragging rights). Now, one graduation and two jobs later, my college team and I reunite every Tuesday to relive our glory days of brews and Qs, travelling throughout Fairfield County questing for trivia gold.
When people ask why I do this so religiously, I explain that it keeps my mind fresh and my synapses firing. I want to keep my brain from becoming stagnant now that I’m no longer spending my days writing analytical literature essays and fighting my way through demanding philosophy courses. The rising popularity of brain game apps like Lumosity and Elevate show that other people feel the same way. There’s a desire among the general public to work their brains and stay mentally fit. I forgo the app because I prefer to expand my mental repertoire the old-fashioned way and, more importantly, with a Black Hog Granola Brown ale in my hand.
There’s a reason why “Jeopardy” is one of the longest-running game shows of all time, why there are countless reruns of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,” and why “The Chase” has trivia nerds both here and across the pond jockeying to take on the resident genius known as Beastie. Even radio stations still launch trivia into the airwaves. Why? Because it’s fun. People like to challenge themselves and show what they know—bonus points if they can do it while licking their fingers after eating some awesome chicken wings. I go to bar trivia because it’s an excuse to hang out with my friends, opine with confidence about whether the zipper or Velcro came first, and experience the adrenaline rush of being right. It also gives me something to look forward to that’s more exciting than going to work every day or cleaning out my fridge. A community event that promotes eating, hollering, and intellectual growth? Count me in!
Lucky for us, Fairfield County has an extremely lively and varied bar trivia scene. Currently, my team, The Stardust Crusaders (yes, a Jojo reference), resides at Craft 260 on the Post Road in Fairfield. With a wide selection of beers on tap, changing trivia categories every week, and a fun host who has actually been a “Jeopardy” contestant, it’s a place where everyone can have a chance at the top spot. Come join the party, but come at your own risk. The Stardust Crusaders are there and we’re out for blood and the right to put our name on Craft 260’s prized trivia trophy—the Golden Gobbler.
There are also some great options for Wiltonians nearby including the Redding Beer Co. in Redding, and The Blind Rhino in Norwalk. Both have fun weekly trivia nights with questions to test your brain and beer to fill your stomach.
An important part of bar trivia culture is discovering your preferred style. Do you like to write your answers down on paper or download a phone app? Do you want to have a multimedia experience with videos and music, or just straight questions? There’s only one way to find out: shop around. Experience different venues and expand your trivia horizons to find out what sticks.
My team changes bars every six months or so just to get a new experience and be introduced to different formats and questions. We must vary our expertise in order to rise to the top. We’ve already taken the crown many times at Bear and Grill on Black Rock Turnpike. After we win our first gold at Craft 260, what’s next? Make our way throughout Fairfield County? Head into Manhattan where the hard-core trivia maniacs play? Or should I dare to go solo and test my wits on a trivia game show? Who knows? Right now, I’m happy I live in an area with a great bar scene and an even greater community and I can’t wait to see what adulthood throws at me next. Besides, I’ve got a ton of useful trivia on my side.