A JOINT venture from three niche Scottish drinks producers is set to increase sales and showcase the Scottish Borders as the home of top quality micro-brewing.

Under the "Born in the Borders" banner The Scottish Borders Brewery, Broughton Brewery and Scotland's only craft cider company, Thistly Cross, have joined forces to offer their products in a bundle deal to drinks distributors throughout the UK, enabling the businesses to present a far more diverse portfolio offer to the trade.

The initiative will be supported by its own website and facebook page, e-newsletter and branding.

John Henderson, Scottish Borders Brewery said: "This initiative could increase our product sales by up to 20 per cent. All three businesses have great provenance behind them and offer different products and taste profiles for craft ale and cider enthusiasts."

The Scottish Borders Brewery was launched in 2011 and produces a range of cask ales under its plough-to-pint mantra, all created using its home-grown barley and spring water.

Thistly Cross is Scotland's only cider maker offering a selection of delicious ciders produced using Scottish grown apples and strawberries and Broughton Ales, near Peebles, was the original "Scottish micro-brewery" founded in 1980. Broughton has attracted a loyal following and now offers 8 different bottles beer in addition to 8 permanent and 15 seasonal cask ales.

The initial "Born in the Borders" trade offer will launch in June and feature six casks each of Broughton's Merlin's Ale, Thistly Cross Original cider and Foxy Blonde from the Scottish Borders Brewery. The makers plan to change the "Born in the Borders" product selection each month so that licensees will be able to continue to offer their customers new ranges to try.

Peter Stuart, Thistly Cross said: "As Scotland's only cider company we were keen to join with the Borders cask ale brewers to add to the mix. We believe this is the first time that independent Scottish drinks producers have adopted this kind of sales model. We operate in an increasingly competitive market and need to achieve stand-out.

"Offering a changing package of exceptional quality products under the "Born in the Borders' banner and capitalising on the area's unique heritage and geography could prove to be a compelling deal. The Borders is home to beautiful scenery , superb water, quality barley production and was at one time Scotland's orchard."