In Brief

Beer's in the running

Fuller, Smith & Turner has signed a "six-figure" deal to be the official beer of the Flora London Marathon for three years from 2007. Fuller's Beer Company managing director John Roberts said: "The marathon is an icon of our capital city and, as London's brewer, it is highly appropriate that we should be supporting it." Race director David Bedford added: "While we wouldn't necessarily recommend a beer as part of the marathon runner's training regime, London Pride is certainly the best thing with which to celebrate your achievement."

Buddies go for the Burns

The Buddies of the Benevolent for the north of England is holding its first event with a Burns Night celebration on Jan 25. The party, to be held at the Freemasons Hall in central Manchester, will include a four-course meal "with wine, whisky and song". Tickets are £35 from Paul Evans at Rumpus Communications on 0161 942 9988 or

Makro joins Today's

Makro cash and carry has joined the Today's Group, becoming its biggest member. It will not take part in Today's promotional activity, but will add weight to the group's buying power. Makro will continue to be supplied directly . Philipp Dautzenberg, managing director of Makro , said: "With Today's as a partner on the buying side we will be able to further strengthen our offer for the independent catering and retail sector."

Cider-branded van win

A Birmingham off-licence owner has won an Olde English branded van from the Gaymer Cider Company. Hardev Ruprai, of Ruprai Food & Wine, took part in a competition Gaymer ran in a number of cash and carry depots, alongside a consumer promotion to win a mini. Managing director John Mills said: "The convenience sector is very important to the cider category. This competition was a great opportunity to reward retailers and thank them for supporting our business and our brands."

Blackberry buddy

A Black berry edition of TastingBuddy has been launched in the UK. "With this release, TastingBuddy is now accessible to a whole new audience of wine enthusiasts and professionals, who will be able to make notes on the go with their preferred device," a spokesman said. The gadget enables users to write wine tasting notes that can be uploaded on to a personal web area.