About the production team

J.R. and Ali Richards, directors of Whisky Chasing

Whisky Chasing is an original film from Wander Media, an independent production company specializing in stories about food and travel. We are a small, husband-and-wife team with a passion for regional food, craft beer, fine wine, and a good story. For over ten years, we’ve been producing documentary film and television series about chefs, winemakers, brewers, and now,
distillers. As a small team of two, we strive for an intimate shooting style that is stylish yet a bit raw and realistic. In addition to Whisky Chasing and numerous corporate and documentary projects, we produced the critically acclaimed, feature length documentary film, Beer Hunter: The Movie, which has screened at festivals, theaters, and brewpubs around the world and stands as the only documentary about the great Michael Jackson. In addition, we produced and directed the chef lifestyle series Back of the House with Charles Mereday, which aired on Fox Channel 4 in southwest Florida, plus the television and web series The Wine Travelers (which has since been rebranded as the Food Travelers), which aired 13 episodes on Life TV channel in the UK and has been featured in several wine-related online magazines.

Meet the team 

J.R. Richards – Director & Producer

Wander Media founder  John R. Richards has over fifteen years in the television and film industries, and heads up all aspects of production, from website building and graphic design, to shooting, editing, and post-production.   He first met Michael Jackson in 2004, when he was hired to film Michael’s travels in the beer world for the Rare Beer Club. Since then he has traveled all over the world, filming stories about food, wine, beer, whiskey, ecology, and outdoor adventure. He graduated from St. Lawrence University in upstate New York in 1992 with a degree in creative writing, and also studied Wildlife Biology and Ecology at Western State Colorado University, in Gunnison, CO, in preparation for graduate work in wildlife management. But instead of science, J.R. turned his passion for travel and storytelling into a career in film and television, and has never looked back. He lives with his wife and production partner, Ali, in Crested Butte, Colorado.


Ali Hodgson Richards – Producer

Ali assists in all aspects of production, from research and planning through shooting, storyboarding, musical selection, marketing and PR. She is an avid traveler, photographer, and writer, and when she’s not involved in production activities for Wander Media, she’s hard at work on her novels and screen plays. Ali has traveled extensively throughout Europe and Central America, and has a keen interest in cooking, culture, and the culinary lifestyle. She has also developed an incredibly keen palate, that would impress even Michael Jackson himself, and she has the final say in all tasting notes and profiles.  Ali graduated from CU Boulder in 1993 with a degree in writing.