It’s early March, so it makes sense that Glen Perkins is getting ready for the upcoming Twins season.
The only difference this year: Perkins, who retired in January after 12 seasons with the Twins, isn’t down in Florida for spring training. Instead, on Friday he was at Surly Brewing’s original brewery in Brooklyn Center, brewing a beer in collaboration with Surly that is set to debut just in time for the Twins’ home opener in a month.
Perkins, a longtime home brewer, made an IPA two years back that he considers a big hit. When Surly got in touch with him recently about collaborating on a limited-release beer — and let him have control of the recipe — he was all-in.
“I think they’re insane, but they gave me way too much leeway to make a beer I wanted to make,” Perkins said Friday. “I think the pressure is on me that it turns out. … I think it’s a good beer. I made it a couple times. I think if I like it, other people will like it.”
The beer is called “Cut Down” — a tribute to Perkins’ choice of entrance music when he was closing games, Johnny Cash’s “God’s Gonna Cut You Down” — and the only question now is whether they will decide to spell it with a K (and make that letter backwards on the packaging, symbolic of a strikeout looking).
There will only be 30 barrels of the beer produced, so it should go fast. Perkins said the plan is to have a tap room crawl on April 3, two days before the Twins home opener, to debut the beer.
Perkins arrived at Surly around 8 a.m. Friday, and there was still work to be done at 1 p.m. when I left. Never one to avoid a cheap shot, I asked Perkins how it felt to have a work shift that was longer than the 8 minutes he used to spend closing games for the Twins.
“OK, here we go. Well, really all I’ve done today is dump hops in a kettle. So that took me about 30 seconds,” he said. “I spent way more time eating than working, which is awesome. That’s why I retired.”
And he did get a little baseball in on Friday. Several Surly employees brought their baseball gloves to work Friday, and after the work was done Perkins engaged them in a game of catch. Overall, though, retirement seems to be suiting him well.
“I’m having a blast. I put a lot of my time and energy and effort into playing baseball for a long time,” Perkins said. “To do things like this, and to spend time with my family has been awesome. You look back on all the good times I had and all the work I put in, it makes it worth it to be able to do stuff like this.”