To make their brew more durable and give it a very special taste, every possible ingredient was tried and tested by brewers in the Middle Ages. Their brewing experiments often encountered serious dangers to life and limb. Time put a stop to this though, with the introduction of legal regulations.
In April 1516, the Bavarian Duke Wilhelm IV issued his Beer Purity law, stipulating that only water, barley and hops were allowed to be used as key ingredients for beer production. This law went on to form the core of the German Beer Purity laws that still affect brewing today, making it the oldest regulation related to food and drink in the world. This regulation marked the start of a new era for beer brewers.