Editor’s note: This is part of a series of blogs I’ve written about trivia spots that have either stopped offering trivia – or spots in which me and my trivia team no longer play regularly.
Original Gravity Brewing Company is located in Milan, MI and opened for business in 2008. It’s a small craft brewery, and they offer a limited food menu (mainly sandwiches). I think they also have food trucks coming to the bar occasionally, too. They have an outdoor “biergarten” where patrons can listen to live music on some nights – or even watch movies.
Me and my team at OG in July, 2017 after having won a finals spot. This isn’t the best lighting, but it’s the only photo I have of me and my team playing here!
In March, 2016, OG started offering trivia nights. This was exciting news – since this small town didn’t have too many other trivia scenes going on. Other than the Milan Grill previously offering a Sporcle Live scene (which I never played) and Fender’s offering a My Trivia Live night (which I played once), Milan wasn’t exactly a “hotbed” of trivia activity! And since Milan is mainly a “bedroom community” rather than a college town, its bars were more “townie” hangouts than places that would attract a decent number of college students (like Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor). So the crowds at the Milan trivia spots – with some exceptions – tended to be older.
Fast forward to 2020, and Fender’s no longer offers trivia nights, and there are two Sporcle Live scenes – The Owl on Wednesday nights – and OG on Thursday nights.
Me and my team started playing at OG in March, 2016. It was mainly a spring/summer/fall spot since the longer drives weren’t too fun in the winter! Though there were one or two decent teams (besides ours), it was never the most challenging trivia spot I’d ever played. I saw several different trivia hosts pass through OG’s doors – starting with “Michelangelo,” a guy who called himself “Matty Ice,” another guy whose name I can’t recall (he played whole sets of music by the same artist) and ultimately Lauren – whom has been on the mic since late 2017. She lets players request songs through an online app that is pretty popular with the players! I know I used it to request songs several times…
Last October, me, our friend Dave my husband played a trivia game at OG, and Dave broke some big news to us! He said that he was going to be getting married (a third time) and moving in with his new wife. I knew that pretty much spelled the end of me and my team playing at OG anymore, since Dave was the only player on the team besides me who enjoyed the trivia scene at OG. Another of my players who previously lived in Saline moved farther away, so that ruled out him coming out to the OG games.
The OG trivia nights weren’t without drama (not all of it was generated by us, LOL)! Some of which I’m…not going to elaborate upon here (because…reasons). I played quite a lot of games solo there in 2016, and sometimes I’d have a bit too much to drink (especially if I’d gotten lucky and won prize money)! I went the wrong way on a roundabout on my way home and wound up going a little off course! I started limiting myself to two pints of beer if I was going to be driving (oh the woes of adulting).
One night while I was taking a smoke break after a game (I have since ceased that habit), I was chatting with a guy from another team. A police cruiser parked in front of us and an officer asked if everything was all right! WTF? We were just talking! Did he think we were having a “domestic dispute?”
I remember bumping into a woman player in the restroom once, and she said to me – “Whenever you decide to show up and play, I know my team is going to lose.” All righty then! On another night, a group of really loud drunk women I described as “hunting widows” were holding court at the bar (not playing). They said “choke…choke…choke” while players were attempting to answer a final question (and this was during a semifinal game #ohthehumanity).
Some of the players at OG were ones I’d only met by playing there – and others…were ones I’d already known from previous trivia battles in other towns. I enjoyed the challenge of taking on some of these longtime rival players in the OG games! I remember chatting with another player about what answer I put down and what they put down after we handed in our slips…and the “oh f—” look on the other player’s face when they realized they were wrong – and I was right – was absolutely priceless! I think the question may have been about the movie One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (I got first place in that game). But the reverse also happened quite a lot in the games too…the competition among us players was very “spirited.” I remember someone chiding me about an all sports mystery round when I was playing by myself… “I’ll bet you just LOVED that mystery round, didn’t you?” Touchè!
My best solo game ever at OG was in September, 2017 when I won a double first place sweep by myself! That’s the only time I’ve ever done a double first place sweep playing solo. The first final question was about Billy Joel – and the second final question was about landlocked counties. You can read a recap of that game here.
Unlike some more competitive trivia spots where if you miss 1-2 points in a round you wind up tied for fifth with three other teams going into the final question – OG was a bit more “relaxed.” You usually only had a couple of good “teams to beat” on any given trivia night rather than eight or so like you would at Corner Brewery in Ypsilanti. And if you blew big points on a question, chances are other teams in the room might’ve done the same thing!
It’s not likely me and my team will ever play trivia games here again – though me showing up by myself once in a blue moon! My work schedule has changed, which means I can can play the later night games at Sticks on Thursday nights, the same night as the OG trivia nights. Also Sticks is way closer to home and a couple of my other players really like playing here. Gotta keep the troops happy!
Whenever I feel the urge to mix it up with some of the other Milan teams, I can always play at The Owl on Wednesdays (though only very occasionally since it conflicts with another of our trivia nights). We may try to play at The Owl later this month!
Overall, aside from some minor things, I have fond memories of playing at OG. Especially memories involving their Spincast cream ale (which I jokingly called “Conjugal Visit Cream Ale” because of the penitentiary in town). And I won’t be a total stranger to OG – especially if the band Black Jake and the Carnies is playing in the biergarten!