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Mea Gulpa: Firestone Invites Fresnans to Chill With Brewer



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Firestone Walker Brewing Company wants Fresno to know it loves having the city as its neighbor.
David Walker — president of the company that crafts such brands as 805 and Firestone DBA — is mortified about a disparaging comment made by his brewery’s communication director about Fresno over the weekend.

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“It’s inaccurate. It’s a dumb comment made on her own personal time.”David Walker, Firestone Walker Brewing Company president
“It’s inaccurate. It’s a dumb comment made on her own personal time,” Walker said of the tweet Jemma Wilson made about Fresno.
Now, Walker wants to make things right. He’s invited Fresno to come to his Paso Robles brewery for “Chill with Fresnans” tours and samples. He also said something in Fresno may be in the works.
“Fresno is our neighbor, and we want to be neighborly,” Walker said.

Responding to a John Legend Tweet

Hours before he became embroiled in a Twitter fight with President Donald Trump (through his wife Chrissy Teigen), Grammy-winning singer John Legend tweeted about his stop in Fresno.
At Saturday’s Fresno State football game, Legend posted that he was there to support his nephew, Minnesota wide receiver Michael Brown-Stephens.

Expectedly, Legend’s Fresno stop was retweeted hundreds of times, mostly positive on Golden Gopher football.
However, Wilson responded with “I’m so sorry you had to go to Fresno though” in a tweet that is no longer publicly accessible.

The tweet by Jemma Wilson on Twitter, as captured by user Mike Seay.

Immediate Backlash

The backlash on the social media platform came quickly. Many people were shocked that a communications director could make such a comment.
“I’m well past caring about people taking easy, lazy shots at Fresno. This time I’m mostly amazed that as hard as Firestone markets here (even sponsoring our big music festival), their comms manager is so quick to s— on us,” said Mike Oz, the Fresno-based Yahoo Sports national baseball writer and organizer of such events as the Taco Truck Throwdown.
Mark Standriff, the spokesman for Mayor Lee Brand, had some advice as someone who works in communications himself.
“And now @JemWilson84 has pulled her tweet and locked her feed. Doubling down on bad decisions. #comms101@FirestoneWalker,” he responded on Twitter.
Fresno councilmembers Esmeralda Soria and Luis Chavez took up for the city they represent.
“The nerve,” tweeted Soria who is also running for congress.

Chavez wasn’t as diplomatic.
“Not sure I would be bragging about your flat/flavorless IPA’s, there’s a reason they end up on the “goody” mystery clearance box at BevMo, where you can get 25 of them for $12. Stick to wine,” he wrote.

Wilson ‘Mortified,’ According to Boss

Walker, the brewery’s co-founder and namesake, said he’s “faced quite rightly some pushback,” over his employee’s comment.
He would not remark on the current status of his marketing director, but did say she was mortified and made “scores of apologies.”
“(Her views) do not reflect the views of the company,” Walker said of the fallout.
“It’s extraordinary the impact that something (that) appeared casual from a personal weekend comment can flow over to an employer and to 500 good-hearted people who don’t share the same opinions,” Walker said.
That’s why Walker extended the offer for Fresnans to make the drive west to Paso Robles.
Fresno is important to Firestone Walker, not just because of the proximity. Walker — without giving specific numbers — said Fresno is”a good regional market for us.”
“The city is precious to us. We’ve always been focused on Central California. We call it the home core,” added Adam Firestone, the brewery’s other co-founder and namesake.

Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email