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A Guide to St Andrews Pub Quizzes

Pub Quizzes have been a staple of British drinking culture since the 1970s. Since then, they have grown from a casual event designed to attract patrons to pubs on quieter nights, to a highly competitive amateur sport with organised teams butting heads for cash prizes. 


Like many student towns, St Andrews has no shortage of pub quizzes. Two notable options include the trivia nights run by BrewDog and The Saint Bar both held on a Tuesday at 19:30. Other pub quizzes have also historically been held at The New Inn, Whey Pat, and The Rule, although it is unclear whether they are still running regularly. Readers should also be aware of the rumours of a pub quiz at The Keys, although information is scant, and survivors are few. 


However, for the gold standard of pub quizzes in St Andrews, there can only be two contenders: The Vic and The Union. For many years now, these two venues have sustained a regular track record of engaging pub quizzes that both challenge the brightest minds in St Andrews and offer a great evening for those who just want a break. 


The Union Pub Quiz, held at 8:00 pm every Sunday at £1 entry, has the distinction of being the most well-known in St Andrews. Written by students, it is more similar to University Challenge than your usual trivia night. Given the attractive £100 cash prize, this particular quiz attracts only the most professional pub quizzers.

As would be expected, the Union pub quiz covers a wide range of topics from films to astrophysics.  In recent years, the quiz has gained a reputation for being particularly creative, adding picture rounds and audio questions. One memorable evening included a tricky set of questions on languages, in which several teams were tripped up on a mysterious dialect that turned out to be the fictional language ‘Dothraki’, from Game of Thrones.

However, with points being awarded for the most creative team names, the most memorable part of The Union pub quiz experience was certainly hearing the groans as ‘Quizlamic State’ narrowly missed out on a win yet again. 


The Vic pub quiz, held every Thursday starting at 7:30 pm at no extra charge, is less University Challenge and more QI. Diverging from its competitor across the road, The Vic relies on a special pub quiz app which beams questions directly to your phone. Those familiar with school quiz platforms like Kahoot will find The Vic’s format a welcome twist on the traditional pub quiz formula. To those less seasoned pub quizzers, The Vic also offers a more accessible evening with many questions simply requiring the first letter of the answer, although readers should be aware that teams are also judged on their speed.  However, The Vic truly stands out through its great atmosphere. Teams are much less competitive with a healthy ratio of sober to drunk contestants and unlike The Union, some teams are made up of townsfolk. 


Pub quizzes remain a hidden gem in St Andrews. Whether you’re looking for a break from exams or simply trying to find a more creative way to pay the bills, there’s something for everyone. 


 Image: Beau Thomas

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