Bring your own brain (BYOB): Trivia throwdown

Bar Trivia (formally called Pub Quiz) has been a tradition in bars and pubs around the world since 1970. Every week, thousands of bars around the nation invite friends, strangers and groups to participate in what is now a worldwide phenomenon. So naturally, Bozeman bars have taken the tradition to our historic downtown district.

Pub 317 has been hosting trivia in their bar for years, and now has been recently joined the Molly, Colonel Blacks, Rocking R Bar and the Bacchus Pub.

“Trivia is a great excuse to get out during the week,” student Mike Newell, who frequents most nights said. “It gives people something to do at the bar besides just drink and it can get pretty competitive.”

Bozeman is trivia almost every night of the week starting with the Bacchus on Mondays. The Bacchus trivia tends to be crowded and, with only one TV screen at the front- it is important to get there early to be able to sit close enough to see. The Bacchus dabbles around in different categories such as movies, history, geography and so forth.

“The questions at the Bacchus are a bit harder, but the winnings are higher,” student Alyssa Sanders said. “But the Molly is also really fun and has very creative categories.”

Wednesday night hosts the two of the most popular trivia nights in town, at The Molly and Pub 317.

Allison Norris, owner of the Molly, said trivia started three years ago and can now account for around 60 percent of their sales that night.

The questions at the Molly are played over the speakers with images shown on various TVs, so trivia can be played from any point in the bar rather than just one. Teams vary from individual players to groups of ten people. The Molly

is set up in four rounds, with a different topic for each round.

Quiz master of the Molly bar Jhanek Szypulski said, “There are rarely empty seats; people are even standing at the bar.”

The Molly is even about to start a tournament that will last until the end of the semester. There will be four week of qualifying tournaments and then nine weeks where players can accumulate points and winners are awarded prizes.

The Pub 317 is also a popular location for trivia, with many regular players and contestants.

Pub 317 regular Jason Bengston said, “317 is great, the questions are pretty hard and they have a better set up. The other patrons are also more respectful of what is going on, in my experience at least.”

Pub 317 trivia includes six rounds, including matching and picture rounds. There are usually about 15 teams in this bar.

“The Pub takes their trivia pretty seriously” weekly contestant Jake Asbury said, “I swear some Wednesdays I can hear a pin drop in here. Also, they are a bit stricter about phone use. We like to keep it as honest as we can, which is way more fun.”

Thursday nights follow with trivia at the Rocking R Bar and Colonel Blacks.

The two have similar set ups, except Blacks takes out a general round for a round called, “Name that tune,” which has gained popularity. Rocking R has general topics, and offers karaoke after the trivia ends.

Jessica Merritt, a frequent attended at the Rocking R said, “Even if you don’t win anything, it is still really fun to be there with your friends drinking and putting your heads together. And the fact that karaoke is right after is sort of perfect.”

So dust off your trivia skills, get some friends together and head out to one of the many trivia nights downtown this week for some good old-fashioned fun.