Like most things in life (certain Bel-Air royalty, for example), beer is undoubtedly at its best when fresh. And, we’re all about keeping things fresh around here. But, unless you're devoted enough to install taps in your own kitchen, it doesn't get much fresher than a growler filled to the brim with fresh-off-the-tap suds.

Besides being: a) full of beer, and b) fun to pronounce, growlers are beloved by beer connoisseurs not only because they're just about as fresh as beer gets, but also because you get to try things you simply can't find in cans or bottles elsewhere. Oh, and because if you show up to a friend's house toting a big ol' half-gallon jug of Fu Manbrew, you just might be the best houseguest ever. (See: summer grill-outs, backyard parties and pool-crashing.)

Thus, in honor of the season of drinking an ice-cold brew while kicking it poolside, we queried a few of our favorite local growler shops for their perfect summer beer pairings. (Bonus points: quite a number of 'em have a free growler deal on that handy Scoutmob app, so fill 'er up.)

We're pic-a-nickin' at Piedmont Park:
Moondog Growlers: If we are talking summer picnics in the south, it’s safe to say we are also talking fried chicken and southern-style potato salad. Classic meal, why not pair it with a classic beer? Can’t think of a better pairing for that than Red Hare Brewing’s Long Day Lager! (Great with barbecue, too!)

The Beer Growler: Hefeweizens pair beautifully with tangy cheeses like feta and goat cheese. The citrus yeast helps cut the tartness of the cheese, and with alcohol usually around 5 percent, you can drink this all night without looking like a fool on the dance floor.

We're manning the grill in our backyard:
The Beer Growler: Never one to shy away from dark beers because it’s hot outside, TBG loves Monday Night’s Drafty Kilt with BBQ. What goes better with smoked meat than a smoky Scotch Ale?

Catch A Draught: It’s always fun to put a little pep in your step, and New Belgium & Cigar City Lips of Faith does just that. This complex and full bodied Chile Ale starts off sweet, then a little tangy tartness ensues before it quickly turns to spicy flavor. It goes well with any barbecued food or summer picnic. A unique ale that will certainly spice things up a bit.

Moondog Growlers: If you're grilling ribs, Lazy Magnolia’s Southern Pecan will match a little sweetness with the sauce and the nutty earthiness is perfect with the grilled meat. (Yum!)

We're lounging by the pool:
The Beer Growler: One of our favorite Summer drinks is a Snakebite. A Snakebite is usually equal parts lager or stout and cider in the UK, but we like to mix it up with equal parts cider and IPA. On tap now, we recommend Southern Tier’s 2XIPA, available all year-round and is a crisp mix perfect for the pool.

Catch A Draught: Nothing pairs better with the summer sun that the malt sweetness and rich flavor of apricots. Dogfish Head Aprihop is a stronger IPA made with fresh apricots and a perfect summer pool beer. It's a cool, crisp beer with a hoppy aroma. Great for a hot day and a handy beer to show up with to a pool party.

We're looking to end our summer night on a sweet note:
Catch A Draught: Summer’s got us feelin’ peachy keen. Brewed with Georgia grown peaches, Terrapin Maggie’s Peach Farmhouse ale is ideal for hot days and perfect for peach lovers. If you prefer to avoid dark IPA’s, this is a great choice for a sweet summertime beer.

Moondog Growlers: Feeling nostalgic? How about beer floats made with Starr Hill’s Little Red RooStarr Coffee Stout? It’s a flavorful, full-bodied milk stout brewed with fresh coffee. With its malt sweetness, chocolate and caramel notes, you’ll be like a kid in a candy store (except better.) All while taking in that sweet aroma of roasted coffee grounds. You could even throw in a Frozen Pint flavor to add extra interest. [Editor's note: consider our interest piqued.]

Sometimes all we need in life is a little liquid courage. Check out all the sweet spots around town where you can snag a free growler and fill 'er up with the suds of your choice. Happy drinking.

Your Growler Destinations:
Crafty Draught
The Beer Growler (Johns Creek)
The Beer Growler (Alpharetta)
The Beer Growler (Brookhaven)
The Beer Growler (Sandy Springs)
Beer Growler Nation