Many years ago - centuries in fact - it was discovered that the way to brew the best ales and beers was to use only malt, hops, water and yeast in the brewing process. In the 15th Century in Germany this was taken a stage further with the introduction of the "Reinheitsgebot" - a law prohibiting the use of any other ingredients in the brewing of beer. This law stood until only a few years ago when the EEC over-ruled the "Reinheitsgebot" which they considered to be a barrier to free-trade within Europe! In spite of this the breweries have refused to change their recipes and still brew using only the four magic ingredients - their customers would not be satisfied with anything less, they tell us. Traditional English ales were brewed originally without hops but tastes changed once hops from the Continent were introduced keeping the ale fresh for longer. Beer drinkers gradually developed a taste for the new "hopped ales" and in the 15th Century the modern tasting English ale was born. This tradition is continued in these beer kits. The breweries have done the hard work of extracting the sugars from the malted barley and wheat and added the hops. The resulting ‘wort’ is then concentrated and packed into tins ready for us home-brewers to dilute it back to its original volume ready to brew.