Raising breast care awareness one Brewbies at a time

Beautiful, intelligent and passionate, Melanie Pierce is a lady on a mission — one to save boobies. Since 2009, she has been working with Keep a Breast Foundation, located in Carlsbad to bring breast cancer awareness with an unintimidating and fun vibe, minus the ubiquitous pink ribbons.

Well known on the local craft beer scene, Pierce also launched Brewbies, an annual festival joining breweries and the cause of breast education and support. This weekend’s event, from 1-5 p.m. on Feb. 10, marks the ninth annual event and will include more than 40 craft breweries. Hosted by Bagby Beer Company in Oceanside, the festival will have its inaugural Brewbies Pink Beer Award Competition, which will give awards for the Best Overall Pink Beer and People’s Choice. All proceeds from the Brewbies event will benefit Keep A Breast Foundation’s Check Yourself! Program.

PACIFIC chatted with Pierce to find out more about her mission, interesting tidbits about boobies, and her favorite anti-cancer food:

PACIFIC: How did you get involved with Keep A Breast? Is there a story there?

PIERCE: Back in 2009, I was working at Pizza Port in Carlsbad, and one late night at the GABF (Great American Beer Festival) in Denver, this little idea popped in my head. I wanted to throw a beer fest to give back and get my community involved. As a young woman in the burgeoning craft beer industry, I wanted to find an organization that resonated with me. A friend of mine introduced me to Keep A Breast (KAB) — they were young, cool, local and didn’t have any pink ribbons, I was hooked.

How is KAB different from other breast organizations?

There’s a big nonprofit world out there, with a lot of different breast cancer nonprofits in it; many focus on research or “the cure.” What sets Keep A Breast apart is that they talk to young people — in their voice, on their own turf — about the importance of breast health, cancer prevention methods and being your own health advocate. 

For readers who don’t know, what’s Brewbies?

Brewbies is a combination of two of my favorite things: craft beer and boobies! Why not take something you love, something you care about, something that inspires you, and share it?!

The festival showcases the positive impact that the craft brewing community makes. And, it’s all about feeling good, having fun, trying new things, enjoying pink beer, great food, friends, and it’s all give-back — 100%. Posi-vibes all around.

What’s a crazy or interesting fact about boobies? Maybe one people may not have heard?

Let’s be real, the most interesting thing about boobies is boobies. Boobs are the best! When it comes to breast cancer, however, there’s a crazy misconception that it’s primarily a hereditary disease. When in reality, approximately 90% of breast cancer cases are likely caused by environment and lifestyle factors and occur in people with absolutely no family history.

How many times should women check self-check? Is there a starting age?

We want to encourage young people to get in the habit of making healthy life choices — so we recommend starting a monthly self-check routine after your first period. Now, don’t get it twisted. Doing a self-check doesn’t have to mean you are “looking for cancer,” but it’s actually you getting to know and love your body. Nobody knows your boobies better than you. And, there’s an app for that: The KAB Check Yourself! App is available in six languages, sends you a monthly reminder, and shows you step-by-step how to check your boobies — for free.

What’s one misconception you hear people saying about boobs?

That men don’t have them. Men have breast tissue, too, and while they’re less-likely to get breast cancer, it can happen.

You guys have great merch. What’s the Non Toxic Revolution?

Non Toxic Revolution is one of our education programs. NTR breaks down the environmental links to cancers into digestible information; how to avoid certain chemicals, what ingredients to avoid, what products are good. We just launched the NTR Marketplace where you can find non-toxic, vegan and cruelty-free alternatives for all aspects of your life.

Shopping tip please: What’s your fave product in the NTR?

I love Barebones’ All The Things Balm — it’s literally for all the things.

Ok now about you, when did you get your first tattoo?

When I was 19.

Are you going to keep going or are you done?

Well, I think at this point I can’t really go back, so I may as well keep going. But they are starting to hurt worse.

What do you do for fun when you aren’t out there saving boobies?

I like to hang out with my dogs, go to Pony Sweat, watch true crime shows, do jigsaw puzzles, drink pink beer…

Favorite anti-breast cancer food?

So many yummy anti-cancer foods, but I love turmeric. It’s the ultimate anti-inflammatory. You can do so much with it, including dye your clothes.

One final health tip for ladies for boobie health?

Love your boobies. It’s so important to have (positive mental attitude) about yourself. No matter what size or shape, your boobies are awesome.

Ninth annual Brewbies

When: 1-5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 10

Where: Bagby Beer Company

Cost: $45 in advance and $60 at the door. Admission includes beer samplings, a commemorative glass, a $5 raffle ticket and an “i love boobies!” bracelet.

Info: brewbies.org

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