ONE of the pioneers of micro-brewing in the Borders is offering the dream job for ale lovers - getting paid to drink beer.

As part of a new trainee position at the region's oldest brewery, the successful candidate will have to sample the ales each weekend.

Traquair House Brewery, which lies beneath the historic house's chapel, dates back to the early 1700s.

Although disused for more than a century it has again been producing fine ales since the 1960s - and now exports its award-winning bottled beers as far as the USA.

The traditional methods of using oak tuns, which are over 200 years old, have kept Traquair as a firm favourite with real-ale lovers.

And it has even been listed in the top 20 of best breweries in the world by the website

To kick off 2019, a rare opportunity to learn the traditional brewing methods has arisen.

Lady laird Catherine Maxwell Stuart said: "We are looking for someone to become a brewer at Traquair and assist the head brewer in all operations to maximise production, efficiency, quality of beer and deliver a high level of customer service to customers of the brewery and members of the public.

"No previous brewing experience is required but an enthusiasm and interest in craft beer is desirable."

The small team of brewers at Traquair had been headed by Ian Cameron from the late 1980s until his retirement three years ago.

Ian oversaw the development and expansion of the brewery from producing several hundred bottles a year to the current production of a quarter of a million bottles that are exported all over the world.

Current head brewer Frank Smith worked as Ian's assistant for more than 20 years before stepping into his shoes.

The new trainee position is full time with extensive training offered for the right candidate.

Catherine added: "Hours can include some early and late work so living locally is preferable.

"The work can be physically demanding and applicants should be prepared for this."

The role includes providing assistance in the production of beer, stock control, driving a fork lift and 'the checking of brews at the weekend'.

Only applicants over 21 years old who have a driving licence will be considered.