I’m friendly with Glen Perkins through a mutual Canadian. People have Canadian friends, everyone. It’s perfectly normal.
As part of that friendship, I learned that Glen enjoyed homebrewing. My employer, as it happens, brews beer. Once Glen made his retirement official, Ben Smith, one of Surly’s head brewers and a lifelong baseball fan, asked me if Glen would have any interest in making a beer. I asked Glen. He said yes.
We planned a brew day that would allow us to get it ready in time for Opening Day. My job was to come up with a name, since I don’t actually make beer (my job is to make words and do good-ass Tweets), and help out on brew day with any media types that might be stopping in to observe.
The name was easy. Twins fans are very familiar with Perkins’ entrance music, Johnny Cash’s Old Testament stomper “God’s Gonna Cut You Down”
“Cut Down” was the easy call. “Cut You Down” might work better in the context of the tune, but the governing body we submit beer names to hates anything that makes it sound like you’re going to get shithoused by consuming it. “Cut You Down” was spiked.
With the beer name sussed out, the actual important part remained. I got there late because my car battery died, but Ben, Glen, and the brewers at our Brooklyn Center brewery were already well underway with the beer, a traditional American IPA based on Glen’s homebrew recipe. Again, I do words and tweets, so the lack of my input was no great loss.
Some of my co-workers showed up in baseball gear to mess with him and/or play catch in the parking lot. To Perkins’ eternal credit, he thought it was hilarious instead of (or maybe because it was) weird. Even Sensory Bob (pictured above with his fly down), who wore actual baseball pants with batting gloves sticking out of his pocket, didn’t faze him.
During some downtime in the brewing process (read: a morning beer), it was suggested that we could replace the C in Cut Down with a backwards K. This excellent idea will be interpolated into the final product.
We broke for lunch and ate a frankly stupefying amount of meat prepared by Surly’s kitchen team: beef brisket, Korean-style BBQ ribs, venison hot links, etc. Perkins smokes his own meat, too, so it was a pretty solid Friday for him.
Bellies full, the brew team and Glen put the final touches on backwards-K Cut Down, literally played catch in the parking lot, and called it a day.
I don’t have any inside info from him on his post-baseball plans; our text chains are about IPA trends and good suburban liquor stores. He told multiple reporters that day that he really doesn’t miss Spring Training and gave no clue that an un-retirement was in the works. He’s going on vacation with his family this week while his old teammates are on a bus to Sarasota or Dunedin. I think he’s made up his mind.
That said, we need a shift brewer in Brooklyn Center, and Glen has our number.