Pub quiz fever with Tom at Noels Ballroom


Getting a Guinness flag (as in my favorite beer) colors one of my first memories of going out in Leipzig. As soon as I arrived home, I put the large banner up on my bedroom wall and left it there. It served as a reminder that I should keep going back to the pub quiz that gave it to me, and order more Guinness.

Not that I need much reminding for such things. I’m a little competitive and I like beer a lot.

That was about five years ago, and I think said pub quiz is too popular now to be doling out such flags. The quiz night, in English, has had its home at Irish pub Noels Ballroom for double that time.

It’s on every Tuesday from 8 pm, except for seasonal breaks.

I’ve been to three other English-language pub quizzes around Leipzig, but none were quite as good, professional or fun as the one at Noels.

A lot of it has to do with the experienced quizmeister, Tom Bailey. The Brit has charisma and is funny. And you’ve got to admire his energy and creativity coming up with the questions and delivering them in style, regularly for the past 10 years. He also directs plays at English Theatre Leipzig. So he is quite active with the public.

Director of The Mysterious Mr. Love, production by English Theatre, Leipzig.
Director and quizmeister Tom Bailey. Photo by Dirk Brzoska.

Also, they’ve had time to set the right tone and iron out the organization, which some newer quiz nights haven’t had. And Noels is a big venue that can accommodate a lot of teams, without restriction on size. Though I recommend two things, as a pub quiz goer myself: have a max of eight people and get there by 7 pm. Besides being bulky, too big a team makes it hard for anyone to have a proper go at the questions.

I recall there being 25 teams a few times, and not a chance to find a table after 7:30. I don’t like having to get there that early. The solution for me has been to order one of their yummy burgers with fries. They’re kind of pricey, but worth every penny to me.

The pub quiz has five rounds. They involve, respectively, pictures, general knowledge, guess the celebrity, music, and wipeout (where you can lose or win it all). Tom takes his time going through the rounds; you’ll be sitting there until about 11:30 pm.

So make sure you’re prepared for doing possibly quite a bit of drinking, socializing with your teammates and, of course, exercising your brain. The first prize is well worth it: a 25-euro voucher for Noels.

For a while, friends and I had a team going every two weeks or so, but life and work got too busy for some of us.

We won several times, but no one will remember us, because we kept changing our team name. I think “Children of Khrushchev’s Corn,” in honor of our Russian team member, was my favorite.

Other funny team names I remember are “Apocalypse Meow,” “Sleepwalking Cookie Crumblers,” and “The Horny Hasselhoffs.” A friend and pub quiz fan named Peggy pointed out some of the names “are just intended to be too difficult to say for Tom,” or to make fun of him. She, and Tom himself, mentioned to me a team called “Tschechische Stretchjeans spricht sich schlecht” as an example.

Peggy’s team is called “Jizzmaster Tom and the Willy Wankers.” You can find them at the English-language quiz at Noels almost every Tuesday.

Mastermind Team Pub Quiz


In English – Tuesdays from 8 pm
Also in German, different host – Mondays from 8 pm

Noels Ballroom
Irish Pub & Ballroom, Kurt-Eisner-Str. 43, 04275 Leipzig

Cover shot: Noels Ballroom in Südvorstadt. (Photo: Kapuczino)

A Global Studies doctoral degree holder and former newspaper reporter, avid eater, pseudo-philosopher and poet, occasion-propelled singer, semi-professional socializer, movie addict, Brazilian-American nomad. In this space, she will share some of her experiences and (mis)adventures regarding various topics, with special attention to social issues.

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