Legend of the Brew Pen

In the parlance of our times, I think one could say, we are back on our bullshit over here at Wisconsin’s Hardest Trivia.

It’s Monday, we’ve got a full rack of questions, and I would suspect there is already a bartender at Company Brewing warming up their tap hand. Who knows, by the time you read this there may be two or three CoBrew ‘tenders in the brew pen.

What’s that? You don’t know about the brew pen? That’s cool. Most people don’t. Let me tell you about it.

Just off the stage, Company Brewing has built a small room with several bars and tappers. There are no customers, so they can actually stack three bar set-ups in a small space. Before a shift starts bartenders spend some time in the brew pen. At one end of the bar a monitor displays an order and the bartender must shuffle back to the taps and pull the correct handle.

It’s important to know the tap handles are set to only 60% resistance of a live tap–they aren’t looking to blow out any arms. After the mock pour, the ‘tender slides back down the bar, taps the monitor and a new order comes up. Occasionally, a barback is sent in just to get in the way, maybe spill huge bucket of ice and generally jam up everything. But a ‘tender gotta ready, you know?  

Not every bar uses, or even has, a brew pen. I know Jake at Glass Nickel likes to go in cold on Thursday nights. And I’m pretty sure the Up & Under only serves cans. But at Company Brewing you can be sure your bartender is ready to go.

Can you imagine if you brought that kind of preparation to Trivia on a Monday night. Think about how great your team could be if you and your whole team cut out of work at like 2pm and started running drills about The Lonely Island, NBA Jam Pairings and Bars and Pubs of TV and Movies. Dang, you guys would be so good.

Pregaming or not, you’re all welcome to show up and try to take home the top prize in trivia tonight. All you have to do is be at Company Brewing in Riverwest at 7pm. See you there.



Trivia was on a wild one last night. If you don’t believe me just check these stats.

Laura Dern and High-Played Bass, a team that is no stranger to the top spot, only scraped together 36 points. While the peer-reviewed and accredited geniopedes on #1 Cat in America dropped a couple drink tickets and still found themselves just under the 40 point mark. Good Enough blasted through and found themselves solidly in the mid-40s with a crushing 43 points. Meanwhile, Clever Girl tossed up 51 points thinking that was enough, only to be topped by Neal of Fortune at the last minute. NOF scored 52.

Spoony Bards and the Quest For Pure Trivia Knowledge scored 73 points, but got bumped into third place when the H.H. Holmies dropped a heavy stack of 19 drink tickets, pushing their score to 74. On top for evening, even before they used 11 drink tickets, it was TV Dogs at 86 points.  

As for the league, Neal of Fortune holds on to the top spot with 13 points. HH Holmies and the Spoony Bards and the Quest for Pure Trivia Knowledge are at 11. Everyone else is somewhere behind them.

Rest up, enjoy the weekend and get ready for it all to start again next week at Company Brewing.


Stranger Fruit Salad Days

Sure, the Glass Nickel summer league started last week, but I think this is the week it gets traction. Certainly the Spoony Bards are looking for a better showing. Rumor has it Laura Dern will be zipping-off the legs of their high-waisted paleobotanist pants, which means they mean business. Will TV Dogs show up? What about #1 Cat in America? Will Son of Sam’s Club win a round based on intellect? Will Good Enough finally flip over a table and claim, “This is all bullshit!”? They wouldn’t be wrong. And can Neal of Fortune keep every other team at bay? And can they do it without Alex, who very proudly told me last week, “I won’t be here next time because I’m going to see Mickey Dolenz and Mike Nesmith.” Then she lifted her hoop skirt so she could walk, stepped into her flying car and told me she was off to Blade Run some replicannots, only further confusing me about what generation or timeline she is actually from.


It’s important to remember that EVERY team will be tested tonight. Because tonight we’llbe playing under the musical thumb of the new album Stranger Fruit from Zeal & Ardor. If you haven’t listened to it yet, I suggest you do so today, because this whole albums chops.  


I understand some teams will see this as a real Sophie’s choice–will they give up their dignity or their team score? But choices have to be made, and ultimately this is just trivia, and your dignity.


International House of Ugh

Great news for everyone who ready for some trivia. We’re rolling on with summer league play at Company Brewing tonight.

This is going to be the pick me up we all need after this International House of Burgers ordeal. When you come to Wisconsin’s Hardest Trivia, you know you’re going to be in Wisconsin and you know it’s going to be trivia. Sure, sometimes we miss the mark on what is or isn’t “hardest” but it’s not like we’re coming at with a two week run up talking about how now we’re Wisconsin’s Saddest Karaoke. Or Wisconsin’s Shittiest Magic Eye Posters.

The last thing I want when I’m out there at 4pm on a Tuesday crushing a 30-stack of flappety jacks is from grilled fat splatter making my food taste like I’m at Applebee’s. And when people Show up to Company Brewing tonight they want a pint of WMSE Smash Ale and 50 bruiser questions. And that is what we deliver. Every goddamned time. Can you dig it, International House of Pancakes?

So tonight, at 7pm, you and your team are going to roll in, order a few pints maybe a bite to eat and then you’re going to answer questions about things like Collegiate Athletic Conferences, Corvids and the movie Borat.

That’s a real solid set. See you tonight!


Trivia as Literature

If American literature in the latter half of the last century has taught us one thing, it’s that we all have a role to fill. Regardless of our actions or our team names, our true selves will be revealed and by the end of the story will be right back to where we began. Sometimes in an even worse place. Everything is preordained and it is only through dramatic action that things change.

Take the kickoff the summer league at Glass Nickel Pizza last night for example. The Leftovers showed up for the first time in like a decade. This team is like Ursula LeGuin, their game is equal parts out there and on point. Most people in the room are getting lost on the minutiae of their incorrect answers and hopelessness, but step back and realize they are the glimmer of hope in an otherwise horrifying world of trivia. As proof, I learned last night that LeftoverXY is purchasing a house, like it even matters in today’s world. They ended the night with 33 points.

Clever Girl and Good Enough both put 62 points on the scoreboard. This must make these teams Jeffrey Eugenides, or Jonathan Franzen, or Dave Eggers or Jonathan Safran Foer or any other white dude who had a couple pieces in The New Yorker but a bunch of pieces in McSweeney’s, because that’s where real lit is happening.

Charles Entertainment Cheese put up a strong 69 and since I really have no shared history with this squad I’m going to consider them the Haruki Murakami of trivia. They were sizable team, I felt better having them there, but much like Kafka on the Shore, or 1Q84 I’m not 100% sure I know what really happened. Feel free to mention in the comments how it’s about Shintoism. But hear me out, I have a very hard time relating to Catholics, who I grew up amongst, so when someone comes at me with Kami and turning over a stone and heavy use of a chrysalis, I’m going to love the journey, but it’s going to take me a couple rounds to get down. They also seemed like the kind of people who would want to talk way too much about The Beatles.

Sixty-six points were put up by The Spoony Bards, trivia’s version of Hubert Selby, Jr’s Last Exit to Brooklyn. Stylistically they are great, their criticism is poignant, they exude a grit and bleakness I like, but honestly no team makes that walk to the back of the room as long. I don’t know how they live in such desolation.

Dern and their 71 points are basically an AP Stylebook.

Son of Sam’s Club is Steven King given they will always entertain, never be the most critically accepted and you know each time they will try to elevate the uncomfortableness. Also, no one that team remembers writing their early works because of wild drug use.

Finally we have Neal of Fortune – a team that has stacked championship tee on championship tee on championship tee. They’re like the John Updike of trivia–hyper-educated and pretty likely to wear corduroy blazers within a decade. I imagine they have have dinner parties where it is revealed that someone on the team reads Buzzfeed articles and then they get ostracized and eventually everyone takes Ubers home except one person who takes a Lyft and that means something. Also there is paragraph that captures the raw insubordination of a dock on the lake at sunset.

Anyway, Neal of Fortune won last night with 83 points. Enjoy the weekend. We’ll start it all over again Monday night at Company Brewing.


Let The Summer League Begin

I got a letter from the government the other day. I opened and read it. It said they were suckers, because they didn’t even know it was summer league time at Glass Nickel.

At least that’s what they’re claiming. Like they aren’t tracking these trivia posts, these written riot starters, these instagram instigations, these blogotov cocktails. Plus, every phone at every show is listening, except Janet’s from Team Drink Tickets because she’s still trying to get a signal on her Nokia 5110 with the vibrating battery pack and light up antenna she bought at the Fones World Xtreme, LLC kiosk in the mall. Blud, that phone isn’t even listening when she’s on a call.

Finally, I will tell you the Government knows Summer League starts tonight because the 100% real-deal Secret Service stopped by my house to talk the other day. I cracked–gave the agent the full answer sheet. He claimed these weren’t the answers he was after, but we know the truth.

Now, the last thing we need to discuss before tonight is this week’s clue about the Amazon series Patriot. Madison, we’ve already handled that round so it’s not happening again. Instead, we’ll toss in a category on Serena Williams. So we’ve got the Holy Roman Empire, The Dream Team and now. That’s a pretty legit night of trivia.

If you want to get in on the ground floor of the summer league, I recommend being in the basement of Glass Nickel tonight. The show starts at 7pm. See you then.  


June 4 be with you

To all the Wisconsin’s Hardest Trivia Players at Company Brewing in Milwaukee, we have not forsaken you.

Sure, I’m coming at you a little late. But the good news is once you’ve read this, there is really no use in going back to office work. As far as I’m concerned, your day is done. Toss a deuce in the air and tell those fellow desk jockeys you’ll catch their fine asses at trivia tonight, and then you lean down real close to Zak and you say through clenched teeth, “God dammit Zak, you better not even show up unless you’ve got some correct answer to contribute because for like three weeks now we’ve been covering your ass. Plus, Annabelle says you still owe her for covering your meal and drinks in March. So don’t fuck this up, Zak.”

Now, if you’re like Zak, or any other player, you’re going to want to be sure you know something about The Holy Roman Empire, a little bit about the Olympic Dream Team and the Amazon series Patriot. Once you’ve got all that knowledge in your brain, you’re going to want to head to Company Brewing in Riverwest. Grab a bite to eat and a few pints and let Nick hit you with 50 questions and answers.

All you have to do is show up. The show starts at 7pm. See you then.


The May Ender

I think we can all collectively wipe the sweat from our brows and get hyped because we made it through May. And last night, Madison sent the month packing in style.

Travis for Nerl of 4Chan kicked-off the show, because I had to explain to old people that Next Door isn’t a scam but that doesn’t mean it’s not a trash website that starts everyday with a casual dip in Lakes Racist and Hyper-Local Xenophobia.

The crowd last night was top notch, so I was hyped to be there for as much of the show as possible. I mean The Spoony Bards won, Clever Girl nabbed second place, Good Enough is moving up in the ranks, and a solo Dern tossed up enough points to send one team running by the end of round six. Plus, Amy (“Hi Everybody, Chef Amy here…”) baked me a birthday cake that we shared with the whole place. Plus-Plus, I was finally able to deliver the league champion tees to the last winners. That only took like 4 months. But they look fantastic.

Did I mention, my family was there. Yeah, Mother and Brother Hardest Trivia and Mila and MaLu popped in from Brazil to occupy the last place spot.

Did I also mention, the Glass Nickel Summer League starts next week. So I expect to see 8-12 weeks of second and third place finishes from the Spoony Bards.

And did I also mention Lewis successfully kicked off the Up & Under league. I heard hundreds of people were lined up on Brady Street sending the players off to what might certainly be the their emotional deaths. Trivia don’t fuck around.

Milwaukee, you’re back in action next week at Company Brewing on Monday night. See you then.


Up & Under Summer League Starts TONIGHT!

Fresh off a long weekend Wisconsin’s Hardest Trivia kicks off a summer league tonight at Up & Under.

If you don’t know what means, here’s a primer. Tonight your boy Lewis, a man with an “I’m already against the NEXT Roseanne reboot” bumper sticker, comes at you with 50 questions. If, after those questions, your team has answered enough correctly to earn more points than any other team, you win. Then through the magic of mathematics he’s going to stack points on points on points the same way he does with spray tans–layer after layer. Finally a few weeks someone gets to be the league winner.

If this sounds like something in your wheelhouse or up your alley or even remotely close to your interests, you need to get a team together. Once you’ve assembled like Voltron, do a quick refresh on what you know about the oeuvres of Steve Spielberg and Ikea. Once you’ve got those committed to memory, get yourselves to Up & Under on Brady Street.

The show starts at 7pm. See you there.


Get Your Degree in Trivia, TODAY!

In the future, Philosophy of Trivia classes at I assume someplace like Carlton or Middlebury,  will probably ask, “Did trivia really happen if it wasn’t talked about on social media?”

Well, trust me it happened last Thursday at Glass Nickel and it happened last night at Company Brewing.

Last night’s 30-minute-later-than-normal start time was no big deal. Nick can roll with that. And regarding last Thursday’s tie for first and second as well as third and fourth, that should have been easy-peasy too. But I fucked it up. I’m the one who asked a tie breaker question about a certain concentration camp.

This is where you’re probably saying, “WTFUCK were you thinking, dog?” And you’re right to ask that. In the end what we need to accept is that a lot of people died in concentration camps and that we should all try to avoid using pejorative terms when talking about the Romani.

That said, Moony and Nerl of Fortune tied with both teams one point short of 69. Moony won the tie breaker. #1 Cat in America and Clever Girl both put up 62 points with Numero Uno Gato winning the tie breaker. The Bards of Spoony Junction put up 60 for 5th place, ahead of Good Enough who had 53, which was more than enough to beat Boat-N-Hoes formerly Penis Posse formerly Pussy Posse and formerly Lady Posse who put up 45 points.

Now, on to last night where Titty Roosevelt nabbed 76 points for first place and a commanding rank in the league. Then it was There’s Something About Queen Mary’s Diamond Bandeau Tiara and Tunnelsnakes both scoring 72 points and putting their league scores at 33 and 34 respectively. That probably has Nick sweating the finals a little bit. Scrambled Eggs landed in fourth with 65 points.

TEEB NABE closed out their night with 58 points, ahead of The Sharpest Tools at 55 and My Burps Smell Like Wet Metal at 47. Ready to Retire put up 41 points and South Side scratched together the 33 points needs to bring up the rear.

Tonight we move on to the Up & Under where Lewis, who insists Prague Rock is better than Prog Rock even though everyone knows all Prague Rock just wants to be Budapest Rock, will be rapid firing 50 questions to all the players. If you want to get involved, simply be at the Up & Under on Brady Street tonight.

The show starts at 7pm. See you there.


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