We came, we saw, we finished second: Team Inlander explores Spokane's trivia scene

click to enlarge Hannah (left) and Adam Kitz play trivia at Iron Goat Brewing. - ERICK DOXEY PHOTO
Erick Doxey photo
Hannah (left) and Adam Kitz play trivia at Iron Goat Brewing.

Trivia is nothing new in the Inland Northwest bar scene, but far from slowing down after years of trendy growth, it seems like new nights designed around picking customers' brains — for fun and prizes — just keep popping up.

We put together a team of Inlander co-workers and hit the circuit to see how various trivia nights compare. In the process, like any trivia team, we learned who among us knows the most about astrology, medieval history and Prince studio albums. Here's what we found, out on the town:

MONDAY
One Tree Cider, 111 S. Madison, 7 pm

Team name: The Secular Saints

Members: 7

The lowdown: This downtown cidery is one of five locations hosting quizzes from Spokane-based company Third Degree Trivia, and considering how quickly the place filled up before trivia kicked off, it has a following. Host Corey Marcoux goes through five categories containing 10 questions each; round three is usually worth double points, and your team is able to double your score on one other round during the game. On this particular evening, all the categories were vaguely holiday themed, so knowing which days the post office is closed came in handy.

Category we crushed: "Holiday" music, in which we identified artists and titles of songs that had topped the Billboard charts on Easter weekends. The only catch — those clips were played backwards. We managed to recognize Montell Jordan, TLC and two Rihanna songs.

Question that made us feel most stupid: "Which ocean would you be if you were 0 degrees latitude and 0 degrees longitude?" Turns out it's the Atlantic, and not the Arctic.

Our final score: 52 points, landing us in second place and separated by just a single point from the winning team. We left with a $20 One Tree gift card; first prize, meanwhile, is $30. (NATHAN WEINBENDER)

More Monday Trivia...

PJ's Pub, 1717 N. Monroe St. (8:30 pm)

Press, 909 S. Grand Blvd. (8:30 pm)

Steel Barrel Taproom, 154 S. Madison St. (7 pm)

Bon Bon, 926 W. Garland Ave. (7 pm)

TUESDAY
JJ's Tap & Smokehouse, 8801 N. Indian Trail Road, 7 pm

Team name: Ringo's Ringers

Members: 5

The lowdown: With $5 margaritas, $2 Rainier specials and a menu of delicious slow-cooked barbecue options, JJ's Tap & Smokehouse is worth getting to a little early to enjoy dinner before exercising your brain. It's recommended you reserve a table in advance. The basic structure is five rounds of five questions each. With questions displayed on TV screens, the host moves through the rounds at a rapid pace, so by 8:40 pm all the final scores were tallied and prizes were being handed out.

Category we crushed: General trivia, fittingly, was our strongest area, with two whole categories devoted to it. "Who wrote 1984?" George Orwell. "At what temperature does water boil?" 212 degrees Fahrenheit. "Before his big Hollywood break, Harrison Ford worked as a roadie for which band?" The Doors.

Question that made us feel most stupid: "How many elements are in the Periodic Table of Elements (between 115 and 125)?"

"I think it's 117," one of us smartly remembered from high school. "I think they've added more though," said someone else. We said 121. It's 118.

Our final score: After wagering all but one of our points for the Final Jeopardy-style last question, we took second place, coming in just one point behind first (deja vu anyone?). We left with a $50 JJ's gift card; third place won a $25 card, and first place got one for $75. (SAMANTHA WOHLFEIL)

More Tuesday Trivia...

Beerocracy, 911 W. Garland Ave. (7 pm)

The Backyard Public House,

1811 W. Broadway Ave. (8 pm)

Rico's Pub, 200 E. Main St., Pullman (7 pm)

WEDNESDAY
The Boiler Room, 6501 N. Cedar Rd., 8:30 pm

Team name: OMG! Double Rainbow!! Whoaaaa!

Members: 6

The lowdown: We'd have been remiss not to hit up one of trivia host Colin Burk's three local gigs, which also includes Press (Mondays) and the Backyard Public House (Tuesdays). He's been voted the best local trivia host five years in a row by Inlander readers. At this Five Mile pizza joint, trivia night is busy, so make reservations or get there early. Due to a rain storm that ended with a double rainbow, Burk called for rain-themed team names, and we were delighted that he properly voiced our team's meme-inspired name. In the four rounds, players were challenged on knowledge of the 1990s, movies with gay characters, a song/artist round and general trivia.

Category we crushed: Besides easily acing the '90s category, we nailed all but one of the films shown via a single frame on a printout.

Question that made us feel most stupid: Another geography blunder. Asked to name the two countries bordering Uruguay, we missed both, even though someone logically suggested Brazil because, duh, it's the biggest country in South America. Correct answer: Argentina and Brazil.

Our final score: After leading the whole night, we felt confident going into the final round and were able to maintain our lead, ending with 44 points — five points ahead of second place. Our winnings? A $35 Boiler Room gift card. (CHEY SCOTT)

More Wednesday Trivia...

The Swinging Doors, 1018 W. Francis Ave. (7 pm)

Community Pint, 120 E. Sprague Ave. (7 pm)

Morty's Tap & Grille, 5517 S. Regal St. (8 pm)

Growler Guys, 225 W. Appleway Ave. (7:30 pm)

click to enlarge Host Isaac Jensen prides himself on making Iron Goat's triva tough. - ERICK DOXEY PHOTO
Erick Doxey photo
Host Isaac Jensen prides himself on making Iron Goat's triva tough.

THURSDAY
Iron Goat Brewing, 1302 W. Second, 6:30 pm

Team name: Inslee's Solar-Powered Robo Suit

Members: 4

The lowdown: Host Isaac Jensen announces early on that his Iron Goat events have a "reputation as the most challenging trivia in Spokane." That's no idle boast, and Jensen notes that this night is the 321st he's hosted since he started at Iron Goat's old digs in 2012. He comes up with all the questions himself and his games include four rounds worth 10 points each, with a goal of making it challenging for even the best of teams to reach five points each round. A big part of the Iron Goat game: A "Final Jeopardy" round that allows the teams to "bet" their accumulated points on one final question, which means no lead is safe until the night is over.

Category we crushed: We got eight out of 10 in the random "Bottles & Cans" category, but the "speed round" asking us to write down 10 Prince studio album titles in three minutes was child's play.

Question that made us feel most stupid: One category asked us to name a Robin Williams movie with the only clues being the year of its release and his character's name. We missed on both Jumanji and Mrs. Doubtfire and will feel shame the rest of our days.

Our final score: We had 31 points and were behind another team by just one going into "Final Jeopardy." We bet 26 and nailed the city where Archduke Ferdinand was murdered to set up World War I, but it wasn't enough as the leaders bet big, too. We ended up in second place with 57 points while the winners had 63 and claimed the winner's prize of 20 percent off their evening's tab. (DAN NAILEN)

More Thursday Trivia...

nYne, 232 W. Sprague Ave. (6:30 pm)

Lost Boys Garage, 6325 N. Wall St. (7 pm) ♦

This Is Our Youth @ Spokane Civic Theatre

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