How beer money could help Detroit's untested rape kit problem

DETROIT (WXYZ) - It’s a simple answer to a complex problem.

Untested rape kits sat in Detroit for years, their existence only unearthed a few short years ago — it means victims have waited for justice for years.

While they waited, the folks over at 8 Degrees Plato Detroit were collecting tip money — change to be exact — since September, 2015. Recently they rolled it up and found they had $1,000 ready for donation, but being a beer company they got a wild idea.

Instead of donating $1,000, they’d team up with Batch Brewing in Corktown and brew a beer. Instead of donating $1,000 they’d sell the beer and donate every dollar, dime and penny to Enough SAID (Sexual Assault in Detroit).

“It was an idea that every dollar we raise would go to something very specific, every $490 we raise goes to testing one rape kit,” explained Christian Salcedo. “So the simplicity of the idea just worked, it’s an idea that money can solve.”

Saucedo may call it a simple idea, but truthfully the events surrounding their spare change has grown exponentially. This Saturday they will host a day-long event at their Detroit location.

Beginning at 9 a.m. there will be a beer and yoga class. Afterward, they’ll host a brunch with Sister Pie and a variety of food trucks will stop by as they sell pints and growlers. In the evening they’ll clear out the entire beer inventory that typically sits on the showroom floor to make room for a number of bands and deejays that will perform the first-ever late-night concert inside 8 Degree Plato Detroit.

The grassroots effort behind Enough SAID, which doubles as the name of the beer, said they were blown away by the effort.

“We were thrilled when the team at 8 Degrees Plato picked Enough SAID as the beneficiary of both their tip fund and the special promotion with Batch Brewing,” said Peg Tallet the Chief Community Engagement Office of the Michigan Women’s Foundation.

Salcedo said they’ll be selling growlers at the Plato’s location in Ferndale in addition to pints at their Detroit location. In total their $1,000 investment created 14 kegs of beer which will also be on tap at a variety of local bars including: One Eyed Betty’s, Otis Supply, Ale Mary’s, and Great Lakes Coffee. However, the main attraction will be at the Detroit location of 8 Degrees Plato. You can find more details here.

While the drink they came up with is considered a craft beer, Salcedo said the goal was to brew a beer that was enjoyable by the largest amount of people. They came up with a light-tasting Pale Ale that he described as “evenly balanced.”

“I think the initial reaction is like, ‘How can I help and what can I do?’” explained Salcedo. “And it’s kind of nice because the thing you can do is come and drink beer, and that’s an easy ask for people.”

If you prefer to skip the beer, but help the cause you can also donate online: https://www.crowdrise.com/craftbeer.

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