Southern Tier Choklat Imperial Stout

January 12, 2009 by Aaron Goldfarb | Filed under Brewer: Southern Tier, Country: America, Grade: A-, Style: Stout.

11% ABV from a bomber

The Great Sports Trivia Quiz

Oh, the silly games men play.

It started with some casual shit-talking over e-mail on Friday.

Sal goofed on Graig for having lost to him in the recent College Bowl Mania challenge on  He noted that Graig was lucky the contest had been so close, quote:

“I have sharted more sports knowledge than [Graig] has in that goofy head of his.”

Graig responded promptly:

“Any time, any place…sports trivia challenge.  I would MURDER you and you know it.”

And, since I am an classic goader, egger on, and rabble rouser, I responded:

“If you wish, I will compose an all-sports trivia challenge for you two, to be competed over in the afternoon on Saturday.”

I knew Graig, a fiery competitor and prolific gambler, would relish the challenge, would put his money where his mouth is, but I wasn’t so sure about Sal.  As Sal waffled for a few minutes, I continued trying to get this deal arranged.  Why you might ask?  Because few things are as interesting as watching two friends fight hard in a competition.  Sal and Graig are since-college best friends, former roommates, and currently coworkers, so a gambling competition between the two all but guaranteed fireworks.

Perhaps worried that Sal would pass, Graig told Sal he’d pay his apartment mortgage for February if Sal beat him.  Finally, after about an hour of deliberations, Sal and Graig agreed on the deal.  One-hundred all-sports trivia questions, $20 per correct answer, questions to be approximately split up into these categorical proportions.:

Obscure sports………………..2 questions
Women’s hoops………………..2
Winter Olympics……………….4
Summer Olympics……………..4
College basketball……………12
College football……………….12

Now came the tough part. Composing the quiz. It was only 2 in the afternoon, but I put aside all my work and plans for the day–seriously–because I knew how hard it is to make a trivia quiz. Oh, sure, you think can just quickly google “sports trivia” and cut and paste together a 100 question challenge. But that would neither be fair to Graig nor Sal. And, most online sports trivia is insultingly easy.

First, I quickly formed an ad hoc trivia team, shot out a cc’ed e-mail to a half dozen of my most sports-savvy friends, asking them to send me some of their favorite questions related to sports arcana. Soon, the questions were flying in–and they were good.

Meanwhile, I began writing out some of my all-time favorites questions that I’ve gathered from three decades of being a sports nerds (“Who was the first European to win the Masters?,” “Who was born Edson Arantes do Nascimento?,” “This man, nicknamed “The Bayonne Bleeder,” was purportedly the inspiration for Rocky Balboa?,” etc).

After an hour, I realized this was going to be even tougher than I had imagined. I had only written and assimilated a dozen questions or so. Twelve quality questions to actually ask my friends. With such high-stakes involved, I couldn’t give them any garbage. I was shooting to write a quiz that neither had questions so hard that only the Schwab could get them, nor questions so easy that everyone’s mom could get them. In the past, I’d composed some trivia quizzes for friends, but never more than 10 or 20 questions. 100 was downright unwieldy, this was clearly going to be a Herculean task.

I had dinner plans with a girl that night but was forced to cancel them to give me more time. Time I would certainly need. And, no I did not tell the girl I was choosing to compose a nerdy sports trivia quiz instead of dining and drinking with her. To keep me company I popped a bottle of Southern Tier’s Choklat, an asskicking imperial stout. Terrificly smooth while still being quite potent, this was perhaps the most chocolatey beer I’ve ever had. Certainly right up there with Ommegang’s Chocolate Indulgence, Brooklyn’s Black Chocolate Stout, and Samuel Adam’s Chocolate Bock. I enjoyed the hell out of it, though its hidden booziness had me quite toasted just halfway through the bomber, giving me all sorts of drunken, wacky ideas for what sorts of questions to ask my friends (“Hmmmm…I wonder if, ‘Who was Webster’s father?‘ would be a good trivia question?”)

By midnight, I had completed the 100 question quiz. I was absolutely drained. Sadly, this was some of the most grueling work of my life. I should work for the Elias Sports Bureau. Of the 100 questions, I was quite proud of at least 80 of them, and was pumped to see how my friends would fare.

I got to my Graig’s apartment in Jersey City before noon the next day. We all had plans to attend the Syracuse/Rutgers basketball tilt in New Brunswick that evening to root on our alma mater, so we had no time to spare. I figured it would take about two hours to get through all one-hundred questions. Countless other friends of mine were quite intrigued by the challenge. Many of these people don’t even know Graig or Sal but they couldn’t wait to hear the results. Most were curious how each man would behave. Graig is quiet and humble, a huge competitor that takes losses hard. If he lost I could see him locking himself in the bathroom and crying, perhaps walking into a semi truck, maybe even skipping the basketball game altogether so as to grieve. Sal on the other hand is like the Incredible Hulk when he is angry, which is quite often for the hulking man. I was almost certain he would break something if he lost. He quite possibly would start some fisticuffs with Graig. Or me! I made sure my questions were well-vetted as I didn’t want any ambiguity in my answers to cause Sal to lose and thus lead to him pummeling me.

I couldn’t set a gambling line on the battle for several reasons. Both men know sports trivia quite well, but their knowledge is spread over different subjects. Likewise, Graig is well-known for getting jittery and, dare say, choking during competition. In fact, as I arrived at his apartment, he was literally quivering. Antsy, nervous, jumping around, like some fourteen-year-old kid who had been brought by his libidinous father to a brothel in order to lose his virginity. I’d never seen someone so freaked out about something so borderline futile. On the other hand, Sal was cool as an unbrined pickle, laughing, joking around, mocking Graig’s nerves, and even using some gamesmanship trash-talking to make his buddy even more scared.

Graig had no choice but to calm his nerves via drink. We had twenty-four beers on hand and by the end of the quiz, the three of us had blown through them all. A good decision I’m not so sure, but it was certainly a fun one. Graig got the first question right, but that was one of his few successes for the day. Sal charged out in front early and at one point was seven questions and $140 ahead, laughing, giggling, and clowning on Graig like Gary Payton smacked on the countless lesser NBA points that couldn’t guard him.

Three and a half hours later, all three of us were wasted and absolutely drained, too tired to even be that celebratory in victory or that demoralized in defeat. No one cried, nothing was broken, friendships were maintained, and your Vice Blogging moderator was not punched.

Sal prevailed by a score of 32 total corrects to 30 for Graig, netting the big guy a cool $40. Clearly, I had made the questions too hard by an order of magnitude. We all agreed that next time, they would write 100 questions and I would be forced under the sports trivial heat lamp to see how I fare. Can’t wait.


(To view the full quiz, click here.  Highlight under each question to see the correct answer.  And, if any of you fools out there actually take the entire quiz, I’d love to hear your scores.  Please post in the comments.)

23 Responses to “Southern Tier Choklat Imperial Stout”

  1. KingOttoIII says:

    You forgot:

    “I dont think Aaron can come up with 100 unbiased questions (meaning not leaning toward you) where you could win. If he can find 100 questions that I dont know the answers to and you do I will give him $20. That would be an amazing feat to find questions that you know and I dont.”


    “We can stop right now and you wont owe me any money. All you have to do is get on your knees and kiss my foot. I will stand the next 10 questions and you can do so at any time. After that you will not have an out.”

  2. Graig said the first quote or you did?

  3. The Choker says:

    Could you not have atleast mentioned my HUGE run from questions 45-70 that changed a $140 Hulk lead to a $40 lead by yours truly (before the typical choke job from questions 70-100)?

  4. The Choker says:

    …by the way, thanks for not mentioning my attempt at cheating in the middle of my gag job around question #85

  5. And now all those things ARE mentioned!

  6. KingOttoIII says:

    Both were quotes from me.

    And yes how can you forget the cheating story. Who in the hell cheats in a Sports Quiz? He is barely a man.

    And no Greg you didnt have a huge run. I got bored and fell asleep since it took you 20 mins to answer each question. When I woke up 30 questions later I was “all of a sudden” behind by $40 (in real time it took 2 hours for you to pass me). Then I was Jonny Flynn like teh rest of the way. You could not stop me.

  7. Wow, the shit talk continues.

    I think we need to have Battle of the Bulge, the Rematch.

  8. amm002 says:

    Hell of a quiz. I got about 20 right, most of hockey and golf with a smattering of other categories. Incidentally, I caddied for Mike Modano at a golf tourney the year he entered the league.

  9. Captain, glad you attempted the whole quiz. I wish I hadn’t made it so hard. I’ve lived and learned. If I ever have to make another one I’ll add some cupcake questions.

  10. The Choker says:

    I am all for double elimination actually. But first things first. Its time for the VBer to put up or shut up. Lets see how well you perform when the lights come on against John. After reading this entry, gotta say I’m pulling for John.

  11. Why are you rooting for John? I handled you with kid gloves in the entry.

  12. amm002 says:

    Yeah, there really weren’t many gimmes.

  13. I was so worried about making it too easy that I overcompensated in the tough direction.

  14. Derek says:

    As a point of fact, more than 4 people have shot 59 in PGA sanctioned professional golf tournaments in the US. In addition to the ones you named, Notah Begay, Jason Gore, Doug Dunakey, and most recently Harrison Frazar. I’ll spend the rest of the evening pouring over the questions/answers searching for similar carelessness.

  15. I should have said at the HIGHEST pro level in America.

  16. And–it was actually your bro that composed that question.

  17. Derek says:

    The only reason I know that is because I watched Ticket to the Tour on NBC this weekend for some unknown reason. As a result, I know more about golf than my brother does now.

  18. BDH says:

    Love the female names on the Stanley Cup question.

  19. Did you know that fact, BDH?

  20. BDH says:

    Not a clue. I would’ve had to guess, and it would’ve been much lower. I’m comfortable with that… I knew the other hockey questions with the exception of the Macon one. That’s really more of a mascot question.

    The Tyson question was the biggest surprise to me, but I’m not much of a boxing guy.

    I think you fudged a bit on the highest grossing sports movie.

    Rusty Staub once tipped me $20 for cleaning his golf clubs. Best tip I got at that cheap ass country club.

  21. It’s hard to determine what exactly necessitates a “sports” movie but I ultimately decided that “The Waterboy” has enough sports and the storyline is predominantly focused on sports to make it a sports movie.

  22. BDH says:

    Agreed. I never even saw it, so I’m really just talking shit. Did they get that one?

    More importantly, fairly big game tomorrow, no?

  23. Nope, they missed it. I wouldn’t have got it right either. I had the grand misfortune of seeing “The Waterboy” at Carousel mall.

    Hell yeah.

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