As we found out in the section What is beer, there are four ingredients that you need to make beer: malt, water, hops and yeast. Each of these four ingredients comes in countless variations and how they are used during in the brew dictates the type of beer that you end up with.
As well as the four essentials there are many other ingredients used in the brewing process. Some of these are traditional ingredients, such as different types of malted and unmalted grains. Others are relatively recent arrivals on the brewing scene, for example maple syrup and spices such as star anise and chilli.
As well as the ingredients outlined in this section, what you can put into beer is pretty much limitless. Some fellow brewers we know have even made a beer with chicken stock and another with egg and gravy!
Read on in this section to find out about the ingredients that go into beer, and how they influence whether you end up with a stout or a pale lager, or a Belgian trippel or an American pale ale.