Local exploration: trivia night at Mainely Brews
For underage Mules without valid identification (or those who have learned from last year’s mistakes), Thursday nights off the Hill might seem like an impossibility. Instead of mourning the loss of bar night, however, underclassmen and jeopardy-lovers alike should consider trivia at Mainely Brews, which provides an equally entertaining Thursday evening and even carries with it the allure of monetary reward.
Although the weekly event begins at approximately 7 p.m., its popularity amongst Colby students, professors and Waterville residents alike causes tables to fill up quickly, so arriving about 15 minutes earlier is definitely advisable. This also leaves time to both claim a spot and order a delicious meal before the main event begins. The restaurant’s menu consists of American pub fare along with some unique treats, ranging from Mac n’ Cheese to Ahi Tuna to lobster rolls, a Maine favorite.
Trivia begins with the emcee of the evening passing out answer sheets, and asking each table if they would like to play for fun or for money. In the case of the former, no financial contribution is needed, only a pencil, piece of paper, and low speaking voice (to dissuade cheating from other groups). For the latter, each member of a given team (which can range from a single individual to several tables), is required to pay $2 in cash; the cash prize for the winner of the evening is the sum of all trivia contributions. Due to this, the ending reward varies based on the level of participation each week. Last week, the winning total was around $58, and was awarded to a trivially-inclined Colby professor.
The questions themselves do not consist of run-of-the-mill bar trivia, but are very specific and quite difficult for the uninitiated. After always beginning with “this week in history,” the event continues with six other categories, consisting of five questions each totalling to 30 overall. Categories range from astronomy to comics to Maine history, and questions are anything but surface level. One week actually included math problems, which required scratch paper and numerous minds.
Throughout trivia, the mood of the restaurant is relaxed and collaborative, with non-participants (somewhat illegally) helping along struggling teams. This helps groups who might not otherwise interact bond, forming a greater sense of community amongst guests. Language flowing freely, Colby students discuss US history with local residents they, under any other circumstances, would not be exposed to.
Even without the potential monetary reward, trivia night is definitely a worthwhile experience, and lasting only until 9:00 p.m., puts Mules back on campus for a reasonable bedtime.