Generalisations about beer culture pubs

Pub quizzes – good idea?

In theory, a pub quiz can help boost midweek trade.

Trouble is, they can rather take over the place, and if it’s not a quiz you’re interested in, it’s a lot more intrusive to your drinking and conversation than any music could ever be. It’s also difficult for quizmasters to strike the right balance between charismatic and annoying.

Then there are the pub quiz professionals. You know — the humourless groups of individuals who absolutely kill the mood, not so much by always winning, but by the fact they’re a group of people whose sole purpose for coming together is to win a pub quiz, not to enjoy each other’s company or the atmosphere of the pub.

Landlords and ladies — if you are going to have a pub quiz, make it short and sweet, and ideally limited to one area of the pub.


9 replies on “Pub quizzes – good idea?”

I participate in a proper quiz league. In fact tonight is the night. I agree that the pub wide quiz can be a bit obtrusive, with much hissing to be quiet at non participants. They do bring in customers though and that’s not a bad thing.

In our case there is up to 16 in the two teams and we aim to have a side room to get out of everyone else’s way. It achieves more income for the pub and doesn’t annoy others in the way that a pub wide quiz might.

On the whole though? A good thing though short and sweet doesn’t do it for the pub. Dragging it out is much more profitable.

I’m not a fan and would probably leave an open plan pub with one going on. In a 2+ roomed pub I’d drink in another bar. If overall they bring in more custom then they must be a good thing and at the moment there’s room for us all me thinks.

There are good quizzes and bad ones – I’ve had a great time in them in the past, but been put off lately by having to endure some joyless experiences – monotonous hosts, churchlike atmosphere of concentration etc. And yes, the hissing at non-participants – that’s just plain rude.

I suppose the point is that to run a good one takes planning and organisation, which sounds like yours. And if you run a bad one, you can end up driving away custom – there are a couple of good local pubs which I will just avoid if there’s a quiz night on.

There are certainly some abominable pub quizzes. They’re also the last refuge of the middle-brow bore, the kind of person who thinks meaningless nuggests of trivia constitute a rounded education.

My pals at the Betsey have been on at me to run one on a Tuesday for ages. I’m resisting.

I’m pretty hot on meaningless trivia meself. Did you know that, in the 1970s, Telly Savalas made short films for the British Tourist Board, promoting Portsmouth, Birmingham and Aberdeen? They didn’t teach me that at university, I can tell you.

I’ve always secretly wanted to run a quiz, although I bet mine would be just as bad, if not worse, than the one I sometimes go to where the tiebreaker is always a question about the bloody Tomorrow People or Doctor bloody Who.

Tandleman, no, I said generalising about whether someone would be troublesome in a pub on the basis of age was wrong. I am perfectly happy to make sweeping statements about pub quiz fanatics.

Middle-brow is one of my favourite expressions. That’s because I’m an intellectually snobby arsehole.

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