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Brewery holds online games for locals during social distancing

A beer is poured at Stones Throw Brewery, which has begun hosting online trivia nights, due to social distancing measures. // Photo by Emily Porter

By Bailey Sytsma

Stones Throw Brewery has taken Thursday, 7 to 9 p.m. trivia from the bar to the web allowing local customers to come together online and play against one another in the comfort of their own homes.

Rachel Maillet, a transportation engineer, has been a regular at Stone Throw Brewery for a year and goes with a group of friends each week to play trivia as a team. Her family has begun to join her for the game as well.

“I always look forward to Thursdays to go out and do trivia,” Maillet said. “It's definitely helped my attitude and it’s fun. I’ve gotten my whole family involved.”

Maillet said that knowing that there is something to fill her Thursday nights in a positive way has been beneficial for the new socially distant lifestyle.

“I think definitely a lot of people would like (Tim’s Trivia) and they have been advertising it on Facebook,” Maillet said. “Brings out a little bit of competitive nature, keeps you on your toes.”

During trivia, eight different categories are randomly chosen, that can range from Harry Potter to science questions. The online version is an hour shorter than in-person games, with a timer of 30 seconds to answer a question, it takes an hour to play. First and second place winners of the game can win money that is gathered by players before the tournament begins.

Tim Crandall, the creator of the trivia game, wanted people coming into the brewery to have a fun activity while socializing. Crandall began hosting three years ago and since then he has hosted nights with over 100 people playing at a time online.

“We really appreciate the support of our regulars and community members,” Crandall said. "People in Bellingham love trivia and I'm happy that we have a way to stay in touch with our trivia fans and offer them a bit of fun and competition in these uncertain times.”

Using social media or video-chatting for face-to-face communication has been some of the ways people have stayed connected to friends and family, but Crandall uses something different for trivia.

“A lot of people are using Zoom or other interactive tools,” said Crandall when asked about how the computer version of trivia was created. “But I decided to go with a web-based system that automatically goes through the questions and tracks everyone's score.”

Julia Morris, director of the center for social science in the sociology department at Western, spoke about the importance of social support for mental health now that many people have been unable to have day-to-day contact through school or work.

“The main thing I think people can do or should be doing right now is really maintaining the connections that are important to them, so there are multiple forms of social support,” Morris said.

Tims Trivia can be found on Stones Throw’s website or on the brewery’s Facebook page

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