Pub quizzes date back to at least the ’70s, when teams and leagues started sprouting in Europe. Nowadays, no one does booze-fueled nerdery better than the Denver outfit Geeks Who Drink (GWD). Founder and former journalist John Dicker had encountered pub quizzes while living in New York City around 2000, but found them a bit like school (read: dull). So, in 2005, he started GWD, which incorporates audio and visual clues, theme nights (like Star Wars and Friends), and trained quizmasters to ensure that, even if you lose—OK, when you lose—you leave feeling entertained. No wonder the company has grown to more than 600 venues in 38 states, including about 130 in Colorado. On February 20, GWD’s biggest quiz of the year, the Geek Bowl, returns to Denver for the first time in four years. Inside Magness Arena at the University of Denver, teams of up to six will compete for more than $13,000 in prizes. In anticipation (and in preparation, for competitors), we offer this primer.
1. John Dicker published a nonfiction book the same year he started GWD. What was the name of the book?
(a) The United States of Amazon
(b) The United States of Wal-Mart
(c) The United States of Starbucks
(d) Fifty Shades of Gandalf the Grey
2. GWD’s first quiz was held at which Irish watering hole in LoDo?
(a) Nallen’s Irish Pub
(b) Fado Irish Pub
(c) Scruffy Murphy’s Irish Pub
(d) The Celtic Tavern
3. The first five Geek Bowls were held in Denver (before relocating to Austin, Texas, and then Albuquerque, New Mexico). Which Mile High City venue has not hosted a Geek Bowl?
(a) Gothic Theatre
(b) Oriental Theater
(c) Dicker’s mom’s basement
(d) Fillmore Auditorium
4. Which cast member of the HBO TV series Silicon Valley celebrated a recent birthday by hosting a GWD quiz at the World ofBeer in LoDo?
(a) (Denver’s own) T.J. Miller
(b) Amanda Crew
(c) Josh Brener
(d) Kumail Nanjian
5. To qualify for the Geek Bowl, a team must win how many GWD quizzes?
6. Which, um, eccentric (real-life) group will serve as the house band at Geek Bowl X?
(a) Mac Sabbath, a Black Sabbath tribute band populated by McDonald’s characters
(b) The Dan Band, the inappropriate—but hilarious—wedding singer from Old School
(c) The Funky Bunch (without “Marky” Mark Wahlberg, of course)
(d) Metalachi, the world’s first (and only) heavy-metal mariachi band
7. In summer 2015, GWD hit the small screen as a quiz show on what cable network?
(c) Cartoon Network
(d) Comedy Central
8. GWD’s four full-time editorial staffers come up with how many questions each week?
(d) 1,701 (same as the registry number for Star Trek’s USS Enterprise, duh)