2016 Holiday Gift Guide Preview: Mr.Beer Launches 12 New Kits to Simplify Craft Beer Brewing From Home

Last month Mr. Beer unveiled 12 new craft beer kits on their website. The kits feature the 6 most popular craft beer styles in “complete” and “starter” kit versions, and are developed to give first time homebrewers a simple and satisfying first experience with the hobby.


Mr. Beer Northwest Pale Ale

Mr. Beer has been developing home beer brewing kits since 1993, and has introduced millions of people to this great hobby. Many strong brewers started with Mr. Beer and now run commercial breweries of their own. Currently Mr. Beer offers beer kits, cider kits, hard root beer kits, and standard root beer kits for amateur brewers.

Mr. Beer also boasts a long-standing tradition of quality extract and partial mash brewing kits, and these 12 kits are sure to set a new standard. The intention with the new kits, according to Pat Bridges, Mr. Beer’s VP of Sales and Marketing, is to “allow craft beer fans to take brewing into their own hands, to find a deeper appreciation for the flavors they enjoy from their favorite craft breweries.


Mr Beer Churchills Nut Brown Ale Refill Pack

Making beer with these Mr. Beer kits allows for shorter time to consumption, less required start up know-how, less mess, less odor in the home, and all of the same delicious flavor as other brewing methods.


Long Play IPA Refill Pack

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One Signature Sound: Sony Pushes the Boundaries with Ultimate ‘Signature Series’ Audio Range

As part of its 70th anniversary celebration, Sony Electronics unveiled a new line of high resolution personal audio products that have been specifically designed to deliver the ultimate in music performance. All four models – including the MDR-Z1R headphones, NW-WM1Z and NW-WM1A Walkman® players, and the TA-ZH1ES headphone amplifier – have been meticulously crafted to address the needs of the most demanding music enthusiasts.


Sony’s new Signature Series: reference standard MDR-Z1R headphones, NW-WM1Z and NW-WM1A Walkman(r) players, and TA-ZH1ES headphone amplifier. (PRNewsFoto/Sony Electronics)

Designed to complement each other as a “Signature Series“, together the headphones, Walkman® and amplifier bring the ultimate sound quality to listeners’ ears. Taking an unconventional approach to design, Sony brought together the highest quality materials and structures for reproducing the best possible sound. The organic shapes visible in every detail reflect a design based on the laws of physics for creating superior audio quality. All materials have been selected based on the principals of acoustic design.

This series of audio products faithfully conveys the heart and soul that artists pour into their music, from the sublime resonance of an orchestra to the overflowing passion of a live concert,” said Dunja LaRosa, Director, and Head of Mobile Audio at Sony Electronics. “Together, the Signature Series devices push sound to an entirely new level – taking the headphone experience from ‘listening’ to ‘feeling.'”

Headphones Developed in a Mastering Studio

The Signature Series features the new premier MDR-Z1R headphones optimized for hi-res personal listening enjoyment. The headphones utilize a 70mm, magnesium dome HD driver for the widest frequency response (up to 120kHZ) possible; along with a lightweight aluminum coated LCP edge diaphragm, and a powerful neodymium magnet, ensuring greater velocity, less signal loss and more natural sound.


The new Sony MDR-Z1R Signature Series headphones

Spatial resonance is minimized thanks to the Z1R’s resonance-free housing in which an acoustic resister is used to optimally control ventilation. The headband is constructed from lightweight, flexible beta titanium for more elasticity. Both the headband and ergonomically correct ear pads are covered in genuine leather for added comfort. The balanced cable uses the new industry 4.4mm plug and the ear cup connection jack utilizes a non-magnetic plated Corson alloy jack for low resistance.

Most significantly, the MDR-Z1R was developed in collaboration with one of the top mastering engineers at Sony Music Battery Studios, who benchmarked its overall performance in comparison with his super high-end reference speakers.

Not Just a Player but an Instrument

A highlight of the Signature Series is the new flagship NW-WM1Z Walkman®, which features an entirely new, gold-plated, oxygen-free, copper chassis to help reduce contact resistance and oxidation while minimizing magnetic interference. It incorporates a dual clock circuit with low phase noise quartz oscillator, which achieves superior sound reproduction at virtually any volume setting. To further reduce noise, both the WM1Z and WM1A utilize separate analog and digital circuitry as well.


NW-WM1Z Signature Series Walkman®

Both models also support virtually every popular Hi-Res music format, including 384kHz/32bit recording and Quad (11.2MHz) DSD native playback if used with a balanced connection and a compatible listening device, such as the Z1R headphones. Additionally, they feature selectable multimode DSEE-HX™ signal processing with five settings: Standard, Female Vocal, Male Vocal, Percussion, or Strings, to carefully upscale lower bit rate files to near High Resolution Audio quality. High output S-Master HX™ technology and a power supply that uses newly developed FT CAP high polymer capacitors to improve bass response. Continue reading

House & Home: KitchenAid Introduces Three-Door Free Standing Refrigerator

KitchenAid is unveiling a new, three-door free standing refrigerator that is the largest capacity refrigerator in its class*. Available in three models, the 72’’ Counter-Depth French Door Bottom Mount refrigerator features a slide-away split shelf that allows three quarters of the shelf to retract to accommodate taller items, up to 16.75 inches. The new addition will also include the first ever self-close freezer drawer in its class**.


Available in three models, features include a slide-away split shelf that allows three quarters of the shelf to retract to accommodate taller items, up to 16.75 inches

In terms of performance, features and aesthetics, this is the finest freestanding refrigerator that KitchenAid has ever offered,” says Beth Robinson, senior manager of brand experience for KitchenAid. “From organizational versatility and ease of access, to efficiency and quiet performance, our engineers and designers went above and beyond to incorporate thoughtful features and elegant design.”


The new KitchenAid three-door free standing refrigerator has the largest capacity refrigerator in its class

Additional internal features on select models include an under-shelf prep zone with removable oven safe pan ideal for setting dough or marinating meats. A Platinum interior design with premium wood accents is stain resistant and helps mask dirt while showcasing ingredients beautifully. External features include the brand’s PrintShield™ Finish that resists against smudges and fingerprints. The specialized coating for stainless steel is easy to clean with just water and a towel.


The new models are offered in the brand’s industry-first black stainless steel finish

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American Eagle Outfitters Empowers Young America With #WeAllCan Fall Campaign

New Global Brand Campaign Platform Features Cast of Young Actors, Musicians, Singer-Songwriters, Models and Social Influencers

American Eagle Outfitters is empowering Young America this Fall with the launch of an evolutionary campaign platform, #WeAllCan, featuring a cast of diverse young talent with strong, affirmative voices and distinct, personal style. #WeAllCan celebrates the power and influence of Young American Millennials and their need to express their individuality and be heard. Featured in the groundbreaking campaign are Hailee Steinfeld, Troye Sivan, Yara Shahidi, Cody Christian, Raury, Neels Visser, Jasmine Sanders, Landon McNamara, Valentina Cytrynowicz, Michael Lockley, Juana Burga and Xiao Wen Ju.

American Eagle Outfitters - Fall Campaign


Chosen for their credibility in the realms of acting, music, modeling and social media, they all represent the empowerment and open thinking that epitomizes the Millennial generation.

The Millennial stars bring the Fall 2016 Collection to life in imagery that captures their distinct individual characters alongside their meaningful statements. Against a stark white background, Steinfeld, Sivan and Shahidi connect with the brand’s iconic denim styles and plaid shirts. Raury, Visser and Christian each add their own interpretation to bomber jackets and printed sweaters on the streets of Brooklyn. McNamara and Sanders are fearless in oversized denim jackets and bold sweaters on the boardwalk at Coney Island.

American Eagle Outfitters enlisted a team of innovators to shape #WeAllCan, retaining creative agency Laird + Partners, led by visionary Trey Laird, along with New York-based photographer Cass Bird and stylist Sara Moonves. The campaign aims to inspire and empower the brand’s consumers with thought-provoking imagery through the lenses of art, fashion, music, philanthropy and activism.

AEO - Fall Campaign


#WeAllCan encourages Young America to follow their passion, express their individuality and pursue their unique path, providing a motivating invitation to share what they can do, be or create,” comments Chad Kessler, American Eagle Outfitters Global Brand President. “We look forward to igniting a conversation and empowering our customers to answer ‘Can You?,’ ultimately showing how together, #WeAllCan.”

American Eagle Outfitters collaborated with the campaign talent, encouraging each to share personal statements, including: “I Can Love Anyone,” “I Can Create My Future,” “I Can Be Heard,” “I Can Fear Nothing,” “I Can Reinvent Myself,” “I Can Change Your Mind,” “I Can Dance Weird,” “I Can Leave Your Speechless,” “I Can Make My Own Rules,” and “I Can Do Everything.” Alongside the campaign, the brand will launch a collection of t-shirts and limited edition, hand-painted denim jackets highlighting the message within the iconic American Eagle logo. The custom jackets will be limited to 100 unique pieces sold exclusively on AE.com.

American Eagle Outfitters Inc - Fall Campaign


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New York Fashion Week Preview: essie Nails The Runway Look At The Spring/Summer ’17 Shows

As America’s leading nail salon expert and color authority, essie is a favorite of designers around the world. For the Spring/Summer ’17 Women’s wear shows starting (officially) tomorrow (but unofficially today), essie will continue to deliver the iconic, colorful shades and eye-catching nail designs to the runways of New York Fashion Week.

essie Logo

essie (PRNewsFoto/essie)

essie will be front and center with collaborations for the must-watch shows on the fashion calendar, adding a polished touch to every collection with essie coveted, always fashionable polishes. The brand is excited to continue strong partnerships with sought-out designers and this season’s top talents, joining with designers such as Alexander Wang, Altuzarra, Jenny Packham, Oscar de la Renta, Rag & Bone and Rebecca Minkoff.

essie is also beyond thrilled to join Monique Lhuillier and Michael Costello this season and to begin working with in-demand newcomers Band of Outsiders and Self-Portrait.

Three of the most sought-after manicurists in North America will lead essie teams backstage: Michelle Saunders, Celebrity Manicurist, Julie Kandalec, Creative Director at Paintbox Studio, and Rita Remark, essie Global Lead Educator. Together, the expert manicurist teams will create the most sophisticated nail looks to walk the runway.

For instant coverage on essie adventures during this fashion week season, check out #essielove for an exclusive and colorful glimpse into backstage beauty and the season’s hottest nail trends.

Stay tuned and join essie in the front row by following at:

www.facebook.com/essie www.instagram.com/essiepolish

www.twitter.com/essie www.essie.tumblr.com

www.pinterest.com/essiepolish essielovesnaps

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History Honors Madeleine Albright and Colin Powell with Inaugural “Great Americans” Award

The Smithsonian‘s National Museum of American History is presenting its inaugural “Great Americans” Award to two former Secretaries of State, Madeleine K. Albright and Colin Powell, during individual ceremonies Sept. 7 and Dec. 7. The “Great Americans” program, supported by David M. Rubenstein, a member of the Smithsonian’s Board of Regents, includes a conversation with the recipient and the presentation of a newly minted museum medal that recognizes lifetime contributions that embody American ideals and ideas.2000px-smithsonian_logo_color-svg

Going forward, the “Great Americans” Award will be presented annually to up to four recipients and includes an interview with the awardee moderated by Rubenstein and the opportunity for the museum to add objects to the national collections. More information is at: https://americanhistory.si.edu/great-americans.

The ‘Great Americans’ award and conversations with history makers allows us to inspire the next generation to embrace the fundamental ideals and ideas that have distinguished this nation since its founding,” said Museum Director John Gray. “Democracy, freedom, justice, opportunity and equality are among the enduring American values and ideals embodied by our first two honorees.”

Albright, who will accept her medal Sept. 7, was born in 1937 in Czechoslovakia and immigrated to the U.S. in 1948. She became a U.S. citizen while a college student. In 1997, Albright was confirmed as the first female Secretary of State and became, at that time, the highest ranking woman in the history of U.S. government. Previously, she served as the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations and a member of President Bill Clinton’s cabinet from 1993 to 1997. In 2012, she made a donation to the museum that included the Louis Féraud red wool dress and jacket and Ferragamo red leather pumps she wore on Dec. 5, 1996, when her nomination to be the 64th, and first female, U.S. Secretary of State was announced. Additional objects in the collection are the green leather briefcase Albright used as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and Secretary of State as well as several of her signature brooches and pins. As part of the program, Rubenstein will host a discussion on the stage with Albright.

Powell, the son of Jamaican immigrants, was born in New York City in 1937. He will receive his medal on Dec. 7. In 2001, Powell was sworn in as the 65th Secretary of State under President George W. Bush, the first African American appointed to the position. His military service included two tours of duty in Vietnam, service as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and in 1991, Powell was the commander of forces during Operation Desert Storm. He retired as a four-star general from the U.S. Army in 1993. Powell is also an object donor to the museum, his uniform worn during Operation Desert Storm is on view in the museum’s “Price of Freedom: Americans at War” exhibition.

The presentation medal, cast in 1.85 oz. of fine gold in Wisconsin, features an American eagle with rays of the sun on the obverse or “head’s side” with the words, “Great Americans” and “National Museum of American History” struck around the image. The reverse side honors one of the museum’s most important treasures, the Star-Spangled Banner, and includes the mission of the Smithsonian: “For the increase and diffusion of knowledge.” The medal measures approximately 1 1/2 inches in diameter.

Inspiration for the design came from the museum’s National Numismatic Collection, which holds two rare Double Eagle coins designed by famed sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens, enlisted by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1905 to design the $20 dollar gold piece. The medal was made possible by museum board member Jeff Garrett and designed by Michael Guilfoyle, an international designer of coins and medals.

Through incomparable collections, rigorous research and dynamic public outreach, the National Museum of American History explores the infinite richness and complexity of American history. It helps people understand the past in order to make sense of the present and shape a more humane future. The museum is continuing to renovate its west exhibition wing, developing galleries on democracy and culture. The museum is located at 14th Street and Constitution Avenue N.W., and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (closed Dec. 25). Admission is free. For more information, visit http://americanhistory.si.edu. For Smithsonian information, the public may call (202) 633-1000.

Cole Haan Reinvents Dress Footwear For A New Generation

A 360° Reinvention of Dress Footwear From the Inside Out

Cole Haan, the iconic American lifestyle footwear and accessories brand, today unveiled GrandRevølution – a dual gender collection that brings the innovation associated with performance footwear to dress shoes.cole-haan-reinvents-dress-footwear-for-a-new-generation-10-hr

With the launch of GrandRevølution, we have dramatically reinvented the design and construction of dress footwear,” says Jack Boys, Chief Executive Officer at Cole Haan. “We have re-engineered traditional dress silhouettes in a way no dress footwear company has since the invention of the Goodyear Welt in 1869. You must see and feel it to believe it,” he added.


Cole Haan Fall 16 – Antoinette Grand Pump (100mm) – 3D Image


Cole Haan Fall 16 – Washington Grand Laser Wingtip Oxford – 3D Image

Traditional craftsmanship meets modern engineering with the GrandRevølution men’s collection. Running-shoe inspired GRAND.ØS energy foam provides responsive cushioning, while a lightweight torsional arch supports and steadies each step. The achilles and tongue padding generate ready-to-wear comfort right out of the box. A fully synchronized motion outsole and flex welt infuse the dress shoes with the flexibility and moisture control benefits of a performance sneaker. Laser-perforations found on the Washington Grand Laser Wingtip Oxford upper offer a contemporary take on a traditional wingtip.


Cole Haan Fall 16 – Washington Grand Laser Wingtip Oxford in Black & Bristol Blue – Flexed

To say, ‘they don’t make them like they used to,’ would be an understatement,” asserts David Maddocks, Chief Marketing Officer and General Manager of Business Development. “This represents a comprehensive revolution in dress shoemaking – we have re-engineered, re-invented and re-imagined these products to deliver comfort one can immediately feel in a luxuriously-crafted, elegantly-engineered, fashion-forward shoe,” he concluded.

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The men’s collection includes:

  • Men’s Washington Grand Laser Wingtip Oxford, $400 – Available in Black/Bristol Blue, British Tan/Molten Lava
  • Men’s Hamilton Grand Plain Oxford, $280 – Available in Black, British Tan, Dark Brown
  • Men’s Hamilton Grand Wingtip Oxford, $280 – Available in Black, Dark Brown, British Tan, Cordovan, Navy
  • Men’s Hamilton Grand Cap Toe Oxford, $280 – Available in Black, Dark Brown, British Tan
  • Men’s Harrison Grand Derby, $220 – Available in Black, Dark Brown
  • Men’s Harrison Grand Double Monk, $220 – Available in Black, British Tan
  • Men’s Harrison Grand Shortwing, $220 – Available in Black, Dark Brown, British Tan

The GrandRevølution collection for women offers an innovative update to the classic Cole Haan pump. Designed to provide both ease and stability throughout the day, the Antoinette Grand Pump features a GRAND.ØS motion outsole which is seamlessly integrated into a laser-perforated leather upper. The addition of responsive GRAND.ØS energy foam and achilles padding creates heightened comfort from the very first step.

When we designed the GrandRevølution collection, our goal was to infuse the modern benefits of performance footwear inside the beauty, elegance and craft of traditional men’s oxfords and women’s pumps. The result is a wearing experience that can only be described as mind-blowing. We’ve created a 360˚ reinvention of the everyday dress shoe engineered with the GRAND.ØS benefits of cushioning, lightness, flexibility and breathability,” said Scott Patt, Vice President of Design & Innovation at the Cole Haan Global Innovation Center in New Hampshire. Continue reading