Every year IPL fever spikes when summer temperatures do throughout the country. The only cure? A tall drink, a large number of friends, lots of roaring, bellowing and throwing things at screens, preferably not at home. To really get into the spirit of the Indian Premier League, experience it in one of the country's many watering holes, where the devout gather on match days to raise a cold one to their home teams. And with the amount of special IPL deals on offer, there's really no reason not to be doing this every day.
For the bros
If you like your matches with plenty of hollering and back-thumping, Yes Minister is the place to be at. It's a sports bar, for starters, so the testosterone here is always hovering around level: Dwayne Johnson. Game nights get boisterous and the place fills up fast, so get there early and play a spot of pool, ride a mechanical bull, or bowl some strikes while you wait for the match to come on, while quaffing some discounted craft beer, of course.
For the athletes
If beerolympics is your sport, Pitstop in Sector 29, Gurgaon, is your arena. This industrial-rustic truck stop-themed sports bar is offering unlimited brewskis from the first ball of the match to the last for Rs 999 this season. In this match, everyone's a winner.
For the hardcore fan
The Chatter House in Khan Market takes the IPL very seriously, so seriously that if you show up in an IPL team T-shirt, you get 15% off your total bill. There are also special IPL beer cocktails, starting at Rs 220, and if the team you're supporting wins, you can have a shot for under 200 bucks. Did we mention happy hours from 12pm to 8pm every day, with beers starting at Rs 65?
For the poor of pocket
If you're going out to watch IPL matches every other day, you're probably feeling a bit skint right now. Spotlight Bistro and Bar are prepared for this eventuality, with a Rs 100 menu, where you can pick from pizzas, burgers and soups. Their deals on drinks also border somewhere on the ridiculous. Five beers for Rs 699? Six whiskys at Rs 549? That's just crazy talk, man.
For dinner and a show
If you're happier sitting down and stuffing your face while you watch teams battle it out, fine-dining restaurant Piali in Connaught Place has a specially curated IPL menu that pairs drinks with their signature dishes. Fancy a Kohli's Century Pitcher at Rs 495? Or perhaps a Dhoni Whistle Podu combo of Kingfisher with mutton pepper fry at Rs 995? Your date certainly won't complain.
For a match with a view
Go one better than watching the match in the stadium; catch it on the beach instead. The Novotel's Gadda Da Vida restaurant sits by the sea and beams the IPL on a humongous screen poolside. There's a special IPL menu of kebabs and finger food, but, with that view, everything else is a bonus.
For the players
Don't be a passive cricket watcher. At Kaitlyn's Beer Garden, tucked away in the bylanes of Bandra, daily matches come with a side of games and freebies to win. Place a bet on the number of sixes or fours in an over, or the number of wickets that could be taken, and if you've wagered right, there's free craft beer in it for you.
For a fam jam
You really want to catch the match, but you've got this family thing you just can't get out of? Easy. Ship your family to The Sassy Spoon at Nariman Point, where you can eat a four-course dinner for Rs 745 all through the IPL. Plus, the restaurant will throw in a welcome shot and free celebratory drinks, should a match be particularly exciting.
For the pukka sahib
If you want to watch the match like a proper gentleman - none of this hollering and thumping tables - wood-panelled, sedate Geoffrey's at Marine Plaza is the place to be at. But with beer combos starting at Rs 700, you may not be sedate for very long. And if the team you're rooting for wins, there's a 25% discount on the total bill as well, in which case you'll be forgiven for your hollering and table- thumping.
For three times the noise
Toast Bistro and Bar in Andheri hosts the IPL on three massive screens, so you can't miss the match even if you wanted to. If you're not watching the cricket, go here for the most pocket-friendly deals in town, with unlimited drinks at Rs 999, a beer bucket for Rs 666, and a free beer on every international beer you buy. Three cheers?
For the opportunist
Blue Frog, the music and fine-dining venue in Yerwada, is not a cheap date on a regular night, with drinks hovering around the Rs 600 mark apiece. But, in another reason to love the IPL, the venue is offering deals for the duration of the IPL that we'd be fools not to jump at. Happy hours run all night long from Tuesday to Thursday, when you'll get a drink free with every drink you order. Weekends bring special deals. And with the acoustically perfect interiors, watching a match here is a completely immersive experience.
For the rock music fan
If you're more into side-eyeing the match while getting your fix of retro music, head to Classic Rock Coffee Co in Kalyani Nagar. While they screen the IPL every evening, don't be surprised to walk into a live music night or a salsa evening - they've got something happening every day. And psst, if you're there for the IPL, ask for a 20% discount on the food.
For the crowd favourites
If you want to live the stadium experience, you couldn't do better than Toss Sports Lounge, which is always full up with the most boisterous sports fans in Pune. Match days get unbelievably loud and the atmosphere is positively electric, helped in no small amount by the food and alcohol deals they have going, from Rs 99 happy hours to the bottomless Saturday drinks. Good luck finding room to even stand when the home team is playing.
For the high roller
If you're good at wagering, get hold of an IPL prediction card at Monkey Bar in Camac Street and fill in your predictions for the five questions on the card. If you get three right, you're eligible for a beer bucket on your next visit to the bar. This could get seriously addictive.
For the deal-crazy
Bring a well-lined stomach and perhaps a spare liver to Bodega Cantina-Y-Bar in Park Street to really get in on their IPL deals. Alongside unlimited draught beer, whisky and sangria, there's a host of other offers if you predict the Man of the Match, the highest wicket-taker or the number of runs in the first five overs. Do your homework!
For the end-of-month-ers
If your wallet is looking askance at you but you've still got IPL fever, Irish House is the place to be at. All through the IPL they're offering pints of Kingfisher at Rs 95. But get there seriously early, the place is packed to capacity by 9pm.
For a boys' night out
Why stop at cricket? Play a spot of foosball, pool and air hockey in between overs at Xtreme Sports Bar or head to the rooftop to watch the match on a giant screen. Ask about the first-ball-to-last-ball offer: unlimited beer and IMFL (Indian-made foreign liquor) for the duration of each match for Rs 999.
For the tailgaters
What happens when a tailgate party meets cricket fever? A month-long Cinco de Mayo bash, if you're Chili's. Sink your teeth into game-day platters of chicken wings, chipotle bacon-wrapped prawns, potato skins and more, all to be washed down with pitchers of margarita, while watching the match on a massive screen with a bunch of screaming cricket enthusiasts, of course.
For the weekday warriors
How to be a great boss 101: after a hard day of work, take your entire team out for some IPL action and pitchers of beer and cocktails. Just don't tell them about the fantastic deals you're getting at the Boozy Griffin in Koramangala and Marathahalli. If you're feeling particularly lucky, enter the lucky draw to predict match-winners and high scorers and you could land buffet vouchers as well.
For the hordes
If you're the kind of sports fan that usually travels in a herd of 15-20, hire a bus and get yourself over to Koramangala Social or Whitefield Social. Their beer-bucket deals really need a crowd to do justice to (18 beers for Rs 1599, anyone?) and matches are more fun when you can annoy everyone else at the restaurant by being loud and obnoxious.