ABOUT THE FILM
Whisk(e)y Chasing is a feature-length documentary film that will take viewers on an adventure through the top whisky-producing regions of the world to celebrate the whiskey renaissance and learn more about how the world’s most distinctive spirit is made.
Directed and produced by the team that produced Beer Hunter: The Movie, the film will also explore how the legendary whisky writer and journalist, Michael Jackson, helped inspire this remarkable renaissance, much as his writing and television series, The Beer Hunter, very much inspired the craft brewing revolution. Honoring the style of Michael’s writing, the movie will focus on the people and places behind whiskey that make it such a beautiful subject to explore and film. Throughout the film we’ll explore Michael’s life and story, and feature passages of his beautiful writing on the subject of whiskey and single malt. Similar to Michael’s books, we’ll discuss the importance of water, the influence of the sea, oak, sherry vs. bourbon, heather, climate, geology, cultural terroir, shape of the stills, and the myriad other details that help create distinctive flavors in each malt.
One my first gigs in the production world, back in 2004, was traveling with Michael Jackson, the Beer Hunter, to film tastings for his Rare Beer Club. After two years of filming with Michael and developing a friendship with him, we started talking about shooting a documentary about beer, and even started talking about producing another season of the Beer Hunter TV show. Sadly, those projects came to a sudden end with Michael’s untimely passing in 2007. A few years after his death I decided to do something with the footage I had of Michael, and went on to produce a documentary about Michael from the footage from our travels, combined with current interviews with brewers and beer enthusiasts. Beer Hunter: The Movie premiered on March 27th, 2013, on Michael’s birthday, to a sold-out crowd in Washington, D.C during the Craft Brewers Conference. The film celebrated Michael’s profound impact on the craft brewing “revolution” that was occurring at the time, but also brought to light Michael’s fight with Parkinson’s disease, which he kept a secret for ten years, leading many to believe that he was drinking too much. The film was warmly received and has screened around the world. But Beer Hunter was only half of Michael’s remarkable story.
What I soon learned from traveling and filming with Michael was that he was just as famous and influential – and many would say more so – in the world of whisky. So over the last dram of Jura Superstition a few years ago, a bottle Michael helped me pick out years ago in London, my wife Ali and I decided to embark upon the next chapter in Michael’s life. Whisk(e)y Chasing was born.
We have since been through Scotland, Colorado, Arizona, and California on the trail of Michael, his influences, and the craft whisky renaissance. We recently completed a successful Kickstarter campaign and turn towards Phase II of filming and editing. We hope in the months to come, to travel to the southeastern U.S., Canada, Ireland, and points beyond to continue on the trail of the whisk(e)y revolution.
Thank you for joining us on this adventure into the whisk(e)y renaissance, and the chance to again honor Michael Jackson, a remarkable individual who did so much to inspire the craft whiskey and beer worlds. Please make a pledge, help us spread the word, and feel free to contact us with ideas, contacts, or questions about whiskey and Michael Jackson.
JR Richards, Director