Wednesday, September 29, 2021

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Only the smart survive at Ingersoll Tap trivia


There are two kinds of people in this world: those who play to have fun, and those who play to win. At bar trivia, you’ll typically find a mix of both. Many people can call it a good night to have answered a few questions right as long as they are enjoying the company of their friends and a few beers in between. And then there are the people who arrive early to get the best seats, have their pencils sharpened and don’t let the drink specials distract them from what really matters: victory.

Ingersoll Tap hosts Geeks Who Drink trivia every Thursday night at 8 p.m.

Ingersoll Tap hosts Geeks Who Drink trivia every Thursday night at 8 p.m.

At Ingersoll Tap, you’ll find mostly the latter group on Thursday nights, when Geeks Who Drink takes over. Geeks Who Drink is a trivia quiz played in bars across the nation and modeled after those in Ireland and the United Kingdom. But let’s get one thing straight before we continue: It’s a serious game.

Geeks Who Drink isn’t designed for easy wins. Instead, it favors a crowd with obscure knowledge of (older) bands, politics and random facts. It’s a weekly event at Ingersoll Tap, and if you plan to go try it out, you’d better come prepared.

The trivia nights at the Tap often consist of at least four or five regular groups. The one to watch out for is “Batman Begins at Conception,” which has held a first- or second-place title for the entire month of August.

Prep Iowa

For new groups, the key is to focus less on your friends and your drinks and pay attention as soon as the host picks up the microphone. My group — all first-timers at Ingersoll Tap and Geeks Who Drink trivia — wasn’t aware that there were pencils and answer packets to be picked up before the start, causing us to miss the directions of Round One, thereby turning in embarrassingly wrong answers.

Other rules to remember: Cellphones aren’t allowed during the game, and groups must be no more than six people. At the end of some rounds, there is a bonus question in which the first group to turn in the right answer gets a point. This is the part where it helps to get the table closest to the host — which means it should come as no surprise that that’s where the winners were sitting last week.

If you were thinking you would be great at trivia because you are an expert at current pop culture and song lyrics, rest assured you would be wrong.

The audio round of Geeks Who Drink consisted of eight questions with two song clips each. The theme was Battle of the Bands, meaning they were pairs of artists who did not get along, and groups were asked to name each band. A visual round required matching the faces of celebrities who had died with other celebrities whose deaths occurred in the same week and outshined the first (i.e., Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson). Easier questions included a “Melissa and McCarthy-isms” round, which all had to do with one name or the other, and a question about Josh Duggar — so it does help to be up to speed on current events.

Ingersoll Tap is a great venue, even for the non-trivia enthusiasts. It has a large indoor space with a game room in the back and a patio overlooking Ingersoll. It doesn’t have a kitchen, but free popcorn is available to snack on throughout the night.

It’s a good bar to visit any night, but if you’re going to play trivia and looking to win, choose your teammates wisely. CV

Ingersoll Tap
2837 Ingersoll Ave., Des Moines
Mon. – Fri. 3 p.m. – 2 a.m.
Sat. – Sun. noon – 2 a.m.

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