Water’s ‘academy awards’ chosen Saturday
Philip Cooper drove municipal water more than 1,100 miles from Emporia, Kansas to be a first time entry in the 23rd annual Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting on Saturday.
Cooper was pleased but not completely surprised that his plant’s water was judged best tap water in the world at the February 23 water judging. He has won repeatedly in state competitions and his advice has been solicited by state officials to determine the magic of Emporia water.
Emporia topped four previous gold medal winners at this year’s competition Independence, MO was second. Last year’s gold medal winner, Greenwood, British Columbia, placed third.
There were 32 municipal waters from a dozen states, Canada, South Korea and Thailand.
“There were an amazing number of ties in the preliminaries,” remarked watermaster Arthur von Wiesenberger. “That speaks to the impressively high caliber of the waters entered. This is the best year ever.”
The event’s second Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Henry Hidell III, a global water developer and policy expert. His presentation outlining the potential for water crises around the world electrified attendees during Friday’s seminar.
Hidell expressed his delight for being presented with the award. “It means something,” he said. “This is the most important water tasting event in the world.”
Not only did bottled water come literally from all over the globe to compete, including waters from New Zealand, Japan, Croatia and Chile, but a pair of young women from Thailand accompanied their municipal entry.
Once again, a Canadian water won best bottled still water in the world — Canadian Gold from Marchand, Manitoba, a perennial winner in sparkling but first time in bottled. Berkeley Springs water bottled as Denton Spring Water from North East, Md. came in third. A total of 30 bottled waters were tasted.
More than 100 people crowded the Berkeley Springs Inn-Best Western Conference Center on Saturday night as eleven regional and national media judges spent hours tasting and selecting from among 82 entries from 21 states and ten foreign countries.
Waters were rated appearance (be clear, or slightly opaque for glacial waters), lack of aroma, clean taste, light feel in mouth, and aftertaste (leaving you thirsty for more).
Two sparkling waters tied for first place, one Canadian and one Bosnian. Touch Sparkling Mineral Water is from Marchand, Manitoba and Celvik Dobri Kiseljak from Bosnia.
The purified water category was won by Rain Fresh Oxygen Purified from Garland, Texas. Greenwood Gold from British Columbia took second.
“Greenwood won best municipal last year,” said Jill Klein Rone, staff producer for the event. “They decided then to bottle their water and this is the result.
Hometown Berkeley Springs water was fourth.
The crowd was interested in the Peoples’ Choice packaging competition where their votes chose which of the eight entrants was the most alluring. The elaborate black packaging and sleek bottles of Lumen, Dallas, Texas won.
The conclusion of the daylong event is the “water rush” where the audience is invited to take home hundreds of bottles of water sent for judging.
“I spent about six hours arranging all the waters in a display,” said Jeanne Mozier, an event founder. “The crowd spent less than ten minutes making it all disappear. It’s like a Tibetan sand mandala.”
Summing up the event, watermaster von Wiesenberger said, “It was another wonderful year for the longest running and largest water tasting in the world. Berkeley Springs is the granddaddy of them all.”
The 24th annual Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting is scheduled for Saturday, February 22, 2014
Best municipal water
Best in the World – Emporia, Kansas.
2nd place – Independence, Missouri.
3rd – Greenwood, Btitish Columbia, Canada.
4th (tie) – Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, and Clearbrook, British Columbia, Canada.
5th – Keremeos, British Columbia, Canada.
Best bottled water
1st – Canadian Gold Artesian Water, Marchand, Manitoba, Canada.
2nd – Agana Rainwater, Buda, Texas.
3rd – Denton Spring Water, North East, Maryland (bottling Berkeley Springs water).
4th – Eldorado Natural Spring Water, Eldorado, Columbia.
5th – Kiowata, Longford, Kansas.
1st (tie) — Touch Sparkling Mineral Water, Marchand, Manitoba, Canada; and Celvik Dobri Kiseljak from Tesanj, Bosnia.
2nd — American Summits, Natural Spring Water, Clark, Wyoming.
3rd – Puyehue, Osono, Chile.
4th (tie) — Antipodes, Whakatane, New Zealand; and Jackson Springs Natural Premium Spring Water, Manitoba, Canada.
1st – Lumen, Dallas, Texas.
2nd – Puyehue, Osono, Chile.
3rd – Bling H2O, Hollywood, California.
4th – Antipodes, Whakatane, New Zealand.
5th – American Summits, Natural Spring Water, Clark, Wyoming.
Best purified water
1st – Rain Fresh Oxygen-Rich Purified Water, Garland, Texas.
2nd – Greenwood Gold, Greenwood, British Columbia, Canada.
3rd – Indigo H2O, Elkhart, Indiana.
4th — Berkeley Springs Purified Water - Berkeley Springs.
5th – Bar H2O, Richmond, Michigan.