Trivia Spot Of Auld – YpsiAlehouse (Ypsilanti, MI)

This is part of a series of blogs I’m doing about places me and my trivia team have previously played but stopped playing…to see more of those, look for the category “Trivia Spots of Auld.” 

My trivia team played at the YpsiAlehouse near downtown Ypsilanti, MI between April, 2016 and December, 2016. The bar started offering trivia not too long after opening earlier that winter, thanks partially to a former manager named Nicole – whom formerly worked a few blocks away at the “Corner Brewery” (officially known as Arbor Brewing Company Microbrewery). She saw what a boon trivia was for “Corner,” and wanted to make sure it was brought aboard at the new bar. She and I actually exchanged some face-to-face and Facebook conversations about this as well.

ypsi alehouse exterior.jpg

So we started playing here as soon as trivia was on “the menu.” It went fairly well at first, we won a decent amount of gift card prizes, and even managed to win a special $100 prize that, at the time, Sporcle live was offering to random teams playing at new trivia venues. We were the lucky winners of the prize! Trivia was (and is) still scheduled 6 p.m. every Sunday afternoon.

Before becoming the YpsiAlehouse, there was a fried chicken joint in there called Korey’s; and YEARS before that it was a Buffalo Wild Wings (it was long enough ago that it was still called BW-3). My friends and I visited BW-3 fairly frequently, and even hit up the Buzztime games there from time to time.

The Alehouse is in kind of an…iffy area, if you will. Across the street, there is both a bus depot AND a Deja Vu strip club. I always wanted to sit facing the window so I could people watch!  We frequently used Deja Vu-inspired team names (I think my favorite was “It’s Daddy-Daughter Day at Deja Vu.” Adding to the whole “iffy” atmosphere was Brad forgetting to bring his bike lock and having his ride stolen during our trivia game!  Thankfully he had at least a couple of “spare” bikes at home…

In addition to a full-service bar, the Alehouse serves its own craft-brewed beers and ciders. Tuesday is all-day happy hour, and there is almost always a random beer that is $3 all the time. They also serve seltzer water for which you can add your own flavors, and have a full kitchen serving various “pub grub.” I didn’t eat there too many times, but the food was decent!

Nearly a couple of years ago today, I “hired” a team to play here under our league number here while my husband and I were on vacation in Northern MI. A couple of players from a rival team sat in and played under our league number, and one of them did a recap. This is STILL one of the funniest game recaps I’ve ever read! Honestly I wish he had time to still do them (it’s always nice to get a different perspective on trivia games).  And wouldn’t you figure, they had a question about a female pirate that they missed that I would have known (Murphy’s Law of trivia – when a player is absent, that’s when a question will come up that only they would know).

Both of the players who subbed for us were “compensated” for their services, so they truly were “hired goons!” Let’s see, one of them got a couple of Miller Lite tallboys (and a $10 gift card for the Alehouse to use on his tab), and the other fella got an airline bottle of premium bourbon for which I had to visit a very well-stocked liquor store (that little bottle cost close to $7)! What else did I give him? A pen with an LED laser pointer light on it, I think (so a cat toy, LOL). It was actually kind of fun dreaming up ways to pay the “goons” – and even more fun figuring out how to get their “payments” in their hot little hands! I think I had the bourbon bottle in a small paper sack to give to one of them, to which he said, “What is this – contraband?” Well actually, it kind of WAS! That really made me laugh…such fond memories!

There were a few rough patches regarding the trivia nights at the Alehouse toward the end of 2016. Some of the games wound up being canceled by the bar (rumor was the owner was a bit strapped for cash and loathe to pony up for the prizes, paying for the trivia host to be there, etc.). I don’t think anything like that has happened since then, except random cancellations for holidays, Super Bowl, etc.

We did the trivia scene here for a couple of seasons, but called it quits by the end of 2016. Why? Well, mainly because a new team had set up shop and they were…really kicking ass! While we held our own with them fairly well, I came to realize we just didn’t have much of a chance playing there anymore. We started winning less and less prize money while playing there once this new team started playing (which features a five-time Jeopardy! champion), and it was nigh impossible for me to summon decent teams for a Sunday afternoon game. The only time we managed to win a first place against them was when we had a team of 6 players! Plus, neither Mike nor I were really huge fans of the beer there – and it became kind of “old” playing on Sundays – which were traditionally nights we usually enjoyed lying low and just relaxing at home. Sunday nights turned into another “party night” when we played at the Alehouse, with us adjourning to the Corner Brewery afterward for its 8 p.m. late night happy hour. That made for some very, very rough Monday mornings!

Don’t get me wrong! The people on that really good team are very, very nice people! They even agreed to sit in as my team when we couldn’t use a tournament spot we’d earned through barhop (and they won $150 for us, kept the remaining $600). Another of their players also helped us advance in a semifinal game at Original Gravity several months later. They have even told us that they miss seeing us at the YpsiAlehouse. I may have, in an “honest” moment, told one of them that we won’t play there anymore because it’s “unwinnable.”

There is another team playing there now featuring another player whom I don’t like very  much. As part of our new “kinder, gentler” trivia credo, I’m officially saying “adieu” to trivia spots that stir up too much negative mojo. I’ve cut out two such trivia spots in this fashion in the past several months.

As for one of my other players, Brad? He would give his left NUT to start playing at the YpsiAlehouse again! He has frequently pushed for us to start playing here again, and every time I tell him “no.” One of these days…one of these days…we’ll find a good “local” spot we can play that we ALL agree on!


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