For 28 years the Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting has been
handing out gold, silver and bronze awards to water; specifically municipal and bottled waters.
As a judge at this competition for many years I have witnessed first hand the impartiality of the judges. Of the dozen judges brought in annually, the majority are new to the game in a given year, meaning they are not attuned to the nuances of water on a daily basis. What’s remarkable about that point is that the 2018 awards was chalk full of former winners. The municipal water category was a battle of former winners with the water judged best in the world for 2018 - Clearbrook, British Columbia, Canada – also the biggest medal winner in the event’s history. The best water in the USA came from Santa Ana, CA, another former gold medalist. “The consistency in winners from year to year with different panels of judges validates the choices,” said watermaster, Arthur von Wiesenberger. “It also speaks to the impressively high caliber of the waters entered.” Simply put, great tasting water tastes great and people are able to discern that.
The competition, open to the public, saw nearly 100 waters entered from a cross the globe from places like Turkey, Cyprus, Jamaica, Trinidad-Tabago, South Korea, Bosnia, Greece and Australia. Waters were tasted in four separate flights over two days. Held in the small enclave of Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, the awards have garnered national press and many winners not only use the Berkeley Springs seal on their product, but also see a bump in sales after winning.
Best Municipal Water
Gold (Non-US)--Clearbrook, BC Canada
Gold (US)--Santa Ana, California
Silver--City of Hamilton, Ohio
Bronze--Mission Springs Water District, Desert Hot Springs, California
Best Bottled Water
Gold--Frequency H2O, Major Creek, Queensland, Australia
Silver--Mountain Valley Springs Water, Hot Springs, Arkansas
Bronze--Jackson Springs Natural Premium Spring Water, Marchand, MB, Canada
Best Sparkling Water
Gold--Antipodes Sparkling Water, Whakatane, New Zealand
Silver--Touch Sparkling Mineral Water, Marchand, MB, Canada
Bronze--KOPU Sparkling Water, Otakiri, New Zealand
Best Purified Drinking Water
Gold--Ophora Water, Santa Barbara, California
Silver--GP8 Oxygen Alkaline Water, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Bronze--Rain Fresh Oxygen-Rich Purified Water, Garland, Texas