A guide to trivia nights in Berkeley

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Jessica Gleason/File

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Trivia nights are nothing like your grandmother’s bingo night. Taking place in popular bars, breweries or restaurants, the premise of each of them is simple: Gather your most well-read friends, grab a few drinks and stake your claim for the ultimate trivia victory. Each spot has its own personality and perks, and there’s almost certainly one that’s a perfect match for your lifestyle.

Triple Rock Brewery and Alehouse

If you’re looking for a midweek break from the intense academic atmosphere of Berkeley, check out Triple Rock’s Wednesday “Geeks Who Drink” trivia night for some less academic, but still brainy, bar trivia. Starting at 8 p.m. in the Richter Room, groups of up to six can play in rounds featuring general knowledge, wordplay and “Name the Tune” questions — this is a great option if your specialties include pop culture minutiae. Teams vie for coveted trophies such as Triple Rock gift cards for first place, but runners-up can also score prizes. One of the best parts is that every week is given an online recap with play-by-plays, photos of all the teams and comprehensive scoreboards to show off the ridiculous team names. Triple Rock is also conveniently located on Shattuck Avenue in Downtown and complete with numerous in-house brews to complement the trivia.

Triple Rock Brewery and Alehouse is located at 1920 Shattuck Ave.

Camryn Bell

Kip’s Bar

A kind of rite of passage for any new 21-year-old at UC Berkeley, the just-off-campus Kip’s Bar hosts a trivia night each Tuesday at 9 p.m. — a time, place and atmosphere that can lead many customers to wonder, “Why am I getting drunk on a Tuesday?” as a writer once observed. Under the glow of television screens playing sports channels and neon signs promoting cheap brews, dozens of college kids gather at the second-floor pub under self-created team names such as “Thoughts and Prayers” or “I’m a Bedwetter.” Teams can be any size but only those with six or fewer members are eligible for the grand prize: a pitcher of beer. The night entails five rounds with six questions each, with each round becoming progressively harder. A Kip’s Trivia Night staple? One round always has a random theme, such as “Kanye” or “Things with the name ‘Tyler’ in it.” Even if your team doesn’t score the pitcher of beer, there are fishbowls and shots aplenty at this local dive.  

Kip’s Bar is located at 2439 Durant Ave.

— Alexandra Yoon-Hendricks

The Albatross Pub

Every Sunday at 8:30 p.m., trivia aficionados can head to the Albatross Pub on San Pablo Avenue for the weekly “Brainstormer Trivia Pub Quiz.” Teams of up to five people can compete in six rounds of scintillating trivia, including general knowledge and theme rounds, picture trivia and a musical quiz in which participants try to name a performer or composer from an audio track. This is a classic pub quiz format held in a cozy environment (the Albatross is equipped with a fireplace and self-proclaimed as “Berkeley’s oldest pub”) and combines the best elements of a trivia night: fun, competition and good beer. Additionally, the Albatross was voted Best Trivia Night by the East Bay Express this year.  And if you tire of trivia, the pub also has board games, darts and $1 popcorn to munch on.

The Albatross Pub is located at 1822 San Pablo Ave.

Camryn Bell

Bobby G’s Pizzeria

Pizza might be enough to get most people out the door on a quiet Wednesday, but for those who might need a little more of an incentive, Bobby G’s Pizzeria, located in Downtown Berkeley, hosts a weekly 8 p.m. trivia night. Three rounds of questions are followed by a music round and a picture round (and then perhaps a celebratory New York-style pizza or panini). If you’re daunted by the pricey beers, that should only motivate you to compete the top three winners each receive a gift certificate. But if your friend group doesn’t happen to be full of future “Jeopardy!” contestants, you can still succeed with a bit of creativity, as the best team name is rewarded with a pitcher of beer. And to add to the ambiance of it all, the pizza palace also features live musicians for the entertainment of its trivia enthusiasts and pizza devotees alike.

Bobby G’s Pizzeria is located at 2072 University Ave.

Shannon O’Hara