Wow! This year’s Art of Tröegs Contest brought in more submissions than ever, and we were blown away by just how amazing they were. There was a working mechanical clock made out of Tröegs cans and wood, a beautifully inspired portrait by a woman who hadn’t picked up her paintbrushes in years, and a tiny Tröegstown, complete with a Sunshine Pils Salon and a Dreamweaver Mattress Shop.

In the end, it was something completely unexpected that stood out to our team. Brian Begley, a freelance designer from Boonton, N.J., retro-fitted a size 13 pair of Nike Dunks with Tröegs labels, bottlecaps and pop-tops in a piece he calls “What the Tröegs”

So, tell us, are you a craft beer fan, an artist, or both?
BOTH for sure! Craft beer and art go together like barley and hops!

Where did the idea for your entry come from?
I’ve been into sneakers and street art my entire life. I love the concepts, sketches and behind-the-scenes of what goes into making a sneaker. So, why not do that? I wrote down all my ideas for the sneaker, then it hit me. Nike released a sneaker in 2007 called “What The Dunk.” This sneaker was made using pieces from all the most famous Nike Dunks.

I decided to make the very first pair of “What The Tröegs” beer label Nike Dunks! After a little searching on eBay for some Dunks and a few trips to my local beer store, I pulled out all my art tools and was on my way to creating some awesomeness!

How long did it take to pull off?
Including the time it took to drink the beer? 42 hours!

Can you break down some of the finer details?

  • Insoles: As a graphic designer, I wanted to add that element into the project, so I created custom insoles (printed by Foot Canvas in Akron, Ohio) using artwork from Nugget Nectar and Sunshine Pils. I included a quote from Walt Disney that reads, “Around here, however, we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things, because we’re curious … and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” This quote has always resonated with me and I feel that it echoes the innovation and creativity that is at the heart of Tröegs. It is the perfect complement to a pair of sneakers, which help us physically move forward and act on achieving our dreams.
  • Tongue: I replaced the Nike woven label that is usually on the tongue with a bottle cap.
  • Aglets (shoe lace tips): Each aglet was wrapped with a different label.
  • Tongue Loop: This was just screaming to be fitted with an aluminum can pop top! It fit so perfectly and almost seemed to be made specifically for this project.
  • Heel Tab: The new Tröegs logo reminds me of a guitar pick, which is awesome, but when placed on the heel of the sneaker, it makes the perfect heel tab, almost like a shoehorn. Although, I recommend not pulling on that tab!
  • Aluminum Nike Swoosh: This was my excuse to drink some Troegenator! After some trial and error, I cut up the can and used strips as the swoosh on both sides of the sneaker.

Are those sweet kicks wearable?

I’m a firm believer in wearing your kicks, but this project ended up being a pretty intricate piece of art. Also, they’re size 13 and may not fit the average gorilla, so I wouldn’t recommend it!

Congratulations, Brian. Your $500 check is in the mail, and “What the Tröegs” will be the star of our new Art of Tröegs Gallery opening in July!

The gallery will be the new kickoff point to our brewery tours, so if you’ve never been here, there’s one more reason to start making plans.