It’s a concept new to the 95361, but one which has taken off all the same. Each Monday for the past nine weeks, beer enthusiasts have been parked at a table or bench at Last Call Brewing Company for some friendly competition.
“Geeks Who Drink’” is a simple trivia game that has been the cause for the increased business at the 159 N. First Ave., Oakdale location.
“The Geeks Who Drink format covers absolutely everything – pop culture, current events, history, geography, science,” Michael Houston, Quiz Master, said of the 16-week event. “It’s like trivial pursuit. Ideally on a team you’re bringing one person who knows a little bit about each subject so you can cover all your bases.”
According to Houston, teams may have as few as one person and as many as six.
A nationwide company, “Geeks” was first discovered when Last Call owners Brian Chiara and Josh Garcia were visiting a brewers convention. Familiar with Pub Trivia the local owners liked the idea of adding something new to their tap room.
“We wanted him, when we were here,” Chiara said of the program and quiz master late last week while brewing from their Shepherd Court facility, which was once the tap room. “But we just didn’t have the square footage.”
Chiara went on to share, the Last Call team first checked out the event as participants at another brewery’s Geek event.
“We’ve noticed almost two months into it that it’s the same teams,” Last Call Manager Walter Ramirez shared. “We get three or four new ones every week, but it’s the same eight to 10 teams that are there. It’s become a competitive thing.”
Ramirez himself, with fellow team members and spouses, have formed a team for the fun of it. While prizes of gift cards are awarded, the Last Call group takes a pass in the event of a win.
“I was impressed with the turnout, no doubt,” Houston said of the neighborhood tap room. “The number of players is absolutely phenomenal.”
According to Chiara and Ramirez the event has been a hit since Week one of its 16-week run. While new teams are welcome from week to week, the event has taken on an almost cult following, as regulars of the brewery gather weekly with friends and family for a few hours of trivia and community.
“I deliberately set it up so our 16 weeks ends when Monday night football starts,” Chiara said, noting that the success has made him reconsider perhaps extending to run in conjunction with Monday night football.
“It’s just fun,” the owner said of the standing room only event. “I don’t play. I just come down here to hang out and watch. It’s a really good time.”
“If I wasn’t hosting it, I’d be participating in it,” Houston admitted. “I am a hyper competitive nerd. I love board games, trivia is one of the things I really like.”
Houston added while he himself is a diehard competitor one doesn’t have to be “hard core” to participate and entry is free. There are rules, however, such as no phones, no yelling out and respecting the quiz master. All are outlined on the company website, www.geekswhodrink.com
The website also serves as a place for teams to check standings as well as get a recap of each week’s game.
To continue with the outreach and cross promotion of other area breweries, this past Monday the Last Call site hosted a team from Blaker Brewery in Ceres. Team winner from Monday night’s game received a gift card to the Ceres location. Blaker hosts its Geeks Who Drink each Wednesday. They will award Last Call gift cards to the winner of this Wednesday’s (July 24) game.
“We’re trying to encourage people to go out to Blaker too,” Chiara said, adding he spoke with a few of the Last Call teams to see if they would travel to the location for such an event.
“Big night for returning customers,” Blaker founder, Tom Lucas said of their Wednesday event. “Brian approached us to create a competition and promote cross selling between the breweries and we thought why not.”
“I think that on top of it being great beer, they want to support local business,” Houston said of the support, “especially because the whole microbrewery in the valley thing is just picking up.”
Geeks Who Drink is hosted every Monday night beginning at 7 p.m. at Last Call Brewing Company. It is open to the public. Participants are encouraged to arrive early to ensure seating.
“I think everybody likes to show off how smart they are. That’s really where our niche is,” Houston added. “Everybody’s a geek, they just don’t know it or they just won’t admit it. That’s the long and short of it.”
For additional information visit the social media page at Last Call Brewing Company or the Geeks Who Drink website.