Daily News: Champagne in the Minibar, Beer with Nearly 22 Grams of Protein

Your daily dose of news and happenings from around the drink-o-sphere:

– Heineken enters the premium cider market with Stassen, a hard cider with a brand identity inspired by Belgian Art Nouveau.

– As tea-drinking declines in the U.K., NPR recalls the tea strikes of the 1970s, when Margaret Thatcher fought striking trade unions over the length of tea breaks.

– Premier New York hotels are stocking their minibars with fine wine, specifically half-bottles of Champagne.

– In an effort to appeal to beer-drinking gym-goers, online health retailer Muscle Food’s new Barbell Brew contains 21.8 ounces of protein, roughly the same amount as a sirloin steak.

– Released by former NASA robotics engineers, the Poursteady coffee machine speeds up the meticulous pour-over technique without losing the integrity and full-bodied taste that makes the process popular.

– Hilliard’s, Fullsteam and Other Half breweries turn to design firms to push the limits of beer can design with bright, clean layouts and playful illustrations.

– Finally, a drink called The Badger—in which Guinness is floated atop Smirnoff Ice—is causing a stir among drinkers in England.

[Photo: Flickr/Paul David Gibson]