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[The List]: Pub Quizzes

Here's six nights around town to trade your knowledge and time for glory and mediocre prizes, every week of the year.
2015-11-05 13:21:42
Bring a friend, put your phones away, and abide by the honor system. Here's our list of all the mid-week, beer-infused trivia action around town that we know of.

The Camel - Tuesdays

Quizmaster: Ned Kelly from the UK / That's Shanghai. You may remember Ned from a WeChat campaign asking you to vote for "Best Red Chairs At A French Restaurant". Really though, a great guy.

Time: They say it starts at 8pm if you ask, but really it starts at 8.30pm and runs until about 11.15-11.45pm depending on the night.

Question Format and Rules: There's 10 rounds of questions at The Camel, split into two sections. The first half includes current events, a country of week, geography, categories that rotate from week to week, image questions, and a round called "Who am I?". Part two has mostly movie and music questions. Then there's a final bonus question where you can bet your accumulated points. This mixes things up a bit -- people in the middle might jump to first place and those near the top might walk away with no points.

There's no limit to team sizes at The Camel. This makes the competition a little uneven, but a ton of fun (or very frustrating) when you have to decide upon a answer with your group.

They also do a three month league. You get league points depending on how you place each night. Those are added up at the end of the three month term. The winning team gets a night of drinking all standard pours, beer, house wine on the house (10 people max).

The Vibe: A busy, mixed crowd of students, teachers, businessmen, girlfriend get-togethers, long time quiz night buddies, and co-workers. They play a cliché sound effect when the quiz starts and all the screens in the bar get taken over for the trivia questions. It's a lively, buzzing place right before the quiz starts. Some teams cheer when the answers get read and have heated debates when there's differences of opinion on the answers. Feels like the place to be on a Tuesday night.

Prize: First place: 500rmb voucher for the bar and a bottle of sparkling wine. Second place: bottle of vodka. Round of shots for the top team during half time.

Trivia Deals: Pints of Carlsberg and vodka mixers are 25rmb from 8pm-midnight. You can pick two a-la-crate entrees from a selection for 100rmb.

Tip: Get there early because seats run out fast. People that arrive late end up standing at the bar. Don't call yourselves the "Camel Toe Wizards".

The Camel (Pudong) - Tuesdays

Quizmaster: Greg from South Africa. Straightforward, friendly guy. Gave no sign of judgment when I handed in my nearly empty sheet at the end of the night.

Time: Starts at 8pm sharp, and runs until about 10.30pm or so. Some nights go longer if there's more teams.

Question Format and Rules: The questions and format are exactly the same as the Camel in Puxi. Greg and Ned write five questions each. The quiz nights happen on the same day at the two Camel locations. They also have a three month league. It's separate from the Camel in Puxi but offers the same prize of a free night of drinks for the winning team.

The Vibe: A far more relaxed and slightly older crowd here; business types and people getting off work. It's not bad. The atmosphere isn't as rowdy and the turnout is pretty good. When we went, the place was busy, but not to the point where you couldn't find a seat.

Prize: First place: 500rmb Camel voucher and a bottle of vodka. No second place prize. Round of shots for the leading team at half time.

Trivia Deals: No drink deals, but you can still warm up with the regular happy hour from 5-8pm with discounts on beer.

Tip: Go to this one if you want to compete with a bunch of other teams and answer diverse questions, but don't want that packed, drunken vibe that you'll get across the river.

Southern Belle - Thursdays

Quizmaster: Emmet from America. Didn't get to meet Emmet. He had a substitute, Sarah, on the day we went. Sarah seemed to enjoy reading people's incorrect answers.

Time: Goes from 8pm–10.30pm on Thursdays.

Question Format and Rules: There's three rounds of four questions. You get four numerical options of points that you can bet with. So for the first round it's 2, 4, 8, 12. Each time a question is asked, you'll need to write down the answer and the point value you want to bet with, then hand it to the quizmaster. The point values double each round. That will make better sense if you go.

The Vibe: The crowd is a mix of young and old expats. The owner Sean is usually bustling around with a cigar in his mouth. The quizmaster also reads out the incorrect answers, so you get to hear the stupid shit people guessed. It's a casual, fun time. People coming to this really are here just for fun because the prize sucks.

Prize: The team coming in first place gets a 20% discount voucher on a meal for two and a free shot for each person on the team (up to six shots / six vouchers). For second place, it's 10% off your meal and free shots as well. Third place just gets a round of shots.

Trivia Deals: The drink deals go all day long. There's buy–one–get–one on draft Budweiser, house wines for 30rmb per glass, and a 20% discount on bottled beer.

Tip: If you don't know the answer to a question, write something clever instead. The quizmaster will read it out for a good laugh. ...or dead awkward silence. Good times.

Fix - Thursdays

Quizmaster: Dave from Australia has been a quizmaster for 11 years. Nice fella that'll crack a few jokes during his rounds and crack your skull if you pull your phone out (not really, but he will yell at you).

Time: Starts at 8.15pm or so, and runs until around 10:45pm.

The Vibe: Older crowd at this one. There was one group of hip French youngsters who looked a bit lost throughout the night. The other customers were pretty much old regulars, but everyone was very open to talking to other tables and meeting the other teams. This is the one trivia night where you could probably go and join up with another team without much awkwardness or difficulty.

Question Format and Rules: They take their quiz night pretty seriously here. Dave claims to be the longest running quizmaster in Shanghai. He used to run the trivia at The Bulldog (R.I.P). Maximum of six people to a team, and no phones out during the quiz. Only fair play going on here, except of course the occasional bathroom / Google visit (you know who you are).

There's 20 questions and a photo page where you have to name the people in the pictures on a printed sheet. Questions involve history, music, movies, sports, and more. It's a pretty good mix, but there were probably 10 questions about the '70s, so study up on that period if you are coming to this one.

They also have a running jackpot and do a 10 week league. For the jackpot, you and each person on your team has to put in 20rmb to enter. There are three questions and you'll need to get each one correct, AND the other teams have to get at least one wrong. If two teams both get the three questions right, the jackpot gets pushed until the next week. Currently, the jackpot is over 1400rmb. The highest it's ever got was 4800rmb.

For the league, your team gets points just for showing up. Then you get more league points depending on how you rank each night. Those points are totaled at the end of the 10 weeks and the winning team gets a keg of beer delivered to a location of their choosing. Not bad eh.

Prize: A 500rmb Sherpas voucher for the winning team.

Trivia Deals: None.

Tip: Unless you and your team are trivia gods, the jackpot probably isn't worth it. If you can get all three questions right then another team probably can too. Plus that 1.4k has be split among the team.

Big Bamboo (Hongqiao) - Wednesdays

Quizmaster: Trygg from Iceland. Trygg's a good guy. At the end of the night, he gave a toast to his friend, a regular at Big Bamboo, who had passed away earlier that day. Someone drunk asshole yelled out, "does that mean you're buying everyone shots?". Trygg replied, "Why would you say something like that right now?" Well-handled.

Time: Starts at about 8.15pm and runs until 10.30-11pm on Wednesdays.

The Vibe: Lots of old white people at this one, but it's a good time no matter who you are or where you come from. People play pool in the middle of the room while the quiz night happens. Many business types here, who don't typically participate in the trivia. The average night gets one or two new teams, but most people are regulars that come every week.

Question Format and Rules: Questions get displayed on the TVs. There's around 80-90 questions in total and they're often visually oriented. Some questions are a bit obscure. One round consisted of album covers with the people in them replaced by cats, and contestants had to guess the artist and the album. Trygg says he purposely keeps the questions a bit harder. Guess they're going for that hardcore trivia crowd.

Prize: First place: 500rmb Big Bamboo voucher. Second place: six pack of beer. Third place: a bottle of wine.

Trivia Deals: No special quiz-time deal. Happy hour goes from 5-8pm with 15% off the menu.

Tip: If you want to become a quizmaster, there's a spot opening up here pretty soon. Trygg is leaving Shanghai at the end of the month. Go talk to him after a quiz night and express your interest and he might recommend you.

Big Bamboo (Jinqiao) - Tuesdays

Quizmaster: Trygg from Iceland again. He grew up in the States, so don't expect a cool Icelandic accent.

Time: Happens on Tuesdays and goes from 8.15pm to 11pm.

The Vibe: We haven't actually attended this one yet, but according to Trygg, the people at Jinqiao's night are mostly English teachers and groups of old friends. This one is actually more popular than the Hongqiao quiz night. Sometimes Trygg gets 15 teams or more.

Question Format and Rules: Same questions as Hongqiao. The quiz runs on Tuesdays, so you could go to this first, learn the answers, then go to the one at Hongqiao. But if you'd do that, you might as well be a dick and Google the answers on your phone.

Prize: First place: 500rmb Big Bamboo voucher. Second place: six pack of beer. Third place: a bottle of wine.

Trivia Deals: No special quiz-time deal. Happy hour goes from 5-8pm with 15% off the menu.