Quick, what is Supergirl’s relationship to Superman? This was one of the questions posed on Trivia Night at The Beacon Pub last Wednesday. The Forest Park Public Library organized the game and reference librarian, Ben Haines, served as MC. The event was yet another example of how our dynamic library thinks outside its boxy building.
The cerebral competition drew about 50 contestants to the venerable bar. (The Beacon was reportedly constructed with paving bricks in 1893.) The crowd was divided into four-person teams, with names like Drunken Monkeys, Ninja Brains and the Islanders. We called our squad Haymarket, hoping for historical questions, as we were weak in current culture.
Weak isn’t the word for our attempts to identify dog breeds from a page of photographs. We were downright pathetic. We also flunked another critter question when I suggested that amber was the only gemstone of animal origin. What a sap I was. Amber isn’t a gem and it comes from trees. At least we correctly answered one animal question: that the most frequently mentioned beast in the Bible was the lamb. But that was after someone lobbied for fish.
To drown out our deliberations, the librarians played loud music from the library CD collection. Haymarket, like any decent trivia team, had players with knowledge in wildly different areas. For example, when it came to the question about which martial art meant “open hand,” it really helped that one of our crew knew Japanese. All our brainpower combined, though, only produced a fourth place finish.
Meanwhile, the bartender, Stephanie Kuehnert, was too busy serving brews to show off her encyclopedic knowledge of pop culture. Trivia Night was partly Kuehnert’s brainchild. She is always looking for new activities to fill the barstools at the Beacon. Plus, Kuehnert, also a published author, already has a relationship with the library, conducting workshops for young readers. So, when the library proposed the idea, it was a natural fit.
The librarians see Trivia Night as another way for the library to thank Forest Park for its funding. Haines compared it to the night they hosted wine tasting at House Red. The library’s mission is to facilitate open discussion and the sharing of knowledge. What better way to do it than over a couple of microbrews?
Craft beers and a neighborhood atmosphere is what The Beacon is known for. It stands in contrast to Madison Street bars that cater to the college crowd. The regulars prefer unique brands of beer and unique barroom activities like testing their brains.
Trivia Night is held the second Wednesday of each month. The next one will be Sept. 8th. Maybe you’ll be smarter than a Drunken Monkey. Hopefully you’re the kind of person who remembers that Superman was an only child and that Supergirl had to be his cousin.