Contest includes municipal, bottled, purified and sparkling waters
More than 150 people watched as 12 media judges spent hours tasting 99 waters from 23 states and 10 foreign countries to determine the best waters in the world at the 21st annual Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting, the oldest and longest-running water tasting in the country. The event is broken into five categories: best municipal (tap) water, best purified water, best sparkling (carbonated) water, best bottled water (non-carbonated) and best packaging design. In total there were 35 municipal waters from 13 states, Canada and South Korea.
Bottled waters across the globe competed, including waters from Argentina, Japan, Tasmania, Bosnia and Switzerland. Michael Cervin, author, water expert and senior editor of BottledWaterWeb.com, served as water master. “This is the largest water tasting in the world,” he said. “Municipal and bottled waters come together to compete for gold.”
The judges selected from print, radio and the Web were instructed to taste waters under guidelines identical to those in a wine tasting. The waters were rated for attributes including appearance, aroma, taste and mouth feel. Cervin, a frequent wine and food judge, oversaw the waters, which were tasted in four flights over two days.
A special award was presented to the Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting by the American Water Works Assn. Event officials Jeanne Mozier and Jill Klein Rone were recognized for their enduring efforts to preserve and protect drinking water through the water tasting over the past two decades. The “Water-Our Legacy” seminar included speakers Cervin; Dr. Kathy Gruver, author of the “The Alternative Medicine Cabinet;” and Mike Sullivan, a hydrologist and former urban water consultant to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Weather Service.
The 2011 tasting results are as follows:
Best Municipal Water
Gold: Daytona Beach, Fla.
Silver: Desert Hot Springs, Calif.
Bronze: Santa Ana, Calif.
Best Bottled Water
Gold: Muskoka Springs, Jarratt, Ontario, Canada
Silver: Pristine Springs, Clear Springs, Md.
Bronze: Highbridge Springs, Wilmore, Ky.
Best Sparkling Water
Gold: Esparanza, Tesanj, Bosnia
Silver: Mountain Valley Spring Water, Hot Springs, Ark.
Bronze: Tesanjski Dijament, Tesanj, Bosnia.
Best Purified Drinking Water
Gold: Texan Independence Water, League City, Texas
Silver: Rain Fresh Oxygen Rich Purified Water, Garland, Texas
Bronze: Mothers Finest, Reidsville, N.C.
Gold: Tasmanian Rain, Tasmania
Silver: Antipodes, New Zealand
Bronze: Canadian Gold, Canada.