BarFly Trivia returns to DG’s Taphouse


Courtesy Flyway.

BarFly Trivia will return to DG’s Taphouse on Monday, Nov. 17. The monthly trivia night is a fundraiser for Flyway, a literary journal dedicated to environmental writing. 

Waylon Sternhagen

Trivia buffs tested their mental mettle Nov. 17 at BarFly Trivia at DG’s Taphouse.

The monthly event, organized by graduate students in the ISU English department, is one of the primary fundraisers for the literary journal “Flyway.” According to Adam Wright, graduate student in creative writing and nonfiction editor of the journal, the trivia nights have been warmly received by the community. 

“It’s been a gift to the community in some ways,” Wright said. “I’ve had people who play stop me in the street [and say], ‘Thank you for hosting, please keep doing it.’”

Players pay a $3 entry fee to participate in the pub quiz. Wright serves as quizmaster and guides teams of up to six people through four rounds of trivia on topics ranging from science and history to “Saturday Night Live” and monster movies. Players answer questions on paper and score themselves at the end of each round. 

“The teams grade themselves because I teach,” Wright said. “I have enough grading to do in my life.”

At the end of the night, the team with the most correct answers wins half the entry pool and the first runners-up get a free round of drinks. The rest of the entry pool goes to “Flyway” to pay for the costs of running the journal. 

Though questions cover a wide variety of topics including some not all players may be familiar with, Wright does his best to make sure that most contestants are able to answer at least a few questions.

“I don’t want to make people feel like idiots or like they’re stupid,“ Wright said. “There are certain trivia hosts that just make all the questions impossible. People are not going to come back to trivia where they feel like they can’t answer questions.”

Caleb Swank, soundman at DG’s, has stepped out from behind the mixing board to participate in previous BarFly Trivia nights. According to Swank, trivia nights bring a cozy and inviting atmosphere to the bar that is enjoyable for players and bar staff alike. 

“The last couple of trivia nights have been great,” Swank said. “As a DG’s employee, the organizers are great to work with, and the contestants make great bar patrons. As a trivia contestant, I’ve had nothing but fun whether my team was dead last or closely chasing the leading team.”

While many players pick their teams ahead of time, Wright said that there is a place for lone trivia aficionados. 

“There’s always a team that will take more people,” Wright said. “I always tell people to sell themselves. You could be a total asset to a team, so tell people what you’re good at. Is it stupid comedies? Is it books? Is it sports?”

“Flyaway,” which is in its 20th year, showcases both fiction and nonfiction writing on a variety of environmental topics. Though there is no longer a print edition of “Flyway,” the journal must cover expenses such as web hosting and paying judges for its writing contests.

According to Wright, finding ways to pay for the journal is a worthwhile endeavor. 

“I think the things people are writing about are very important stories to be told,” Wright said. “We have a level of advocacy and focus on the environment. I think the stories our authors are writing really do matter.”

In addition to helping “Flyway” further its mission of environmental advocacy, players get the chance to win a fair amount of money in a fun and competitive environment.  

“A team of six people won $65 last time,” Wright said. “That’s like 10 bucks a person, and it’s $1 well drinks on Monday night at DG’s. So that’s about ten drinks you could buy yourself just by winning trivia.”

BarFly Trivia will return to DG’s Taphouse on Dec. 15.