The Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting competition has been called the “Academy Awards of Water.”
And on Saturday, the 29th Annual Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting was held with entries from five continents making this “truly an international event,” said Robert Smith, owner of Grand Springs Water in Alton, who came home with a silver award for having the second best water in the world and the best in the United States.
The competition consists of entries in five different categories of products from around the world including Best Municipal Water, Best Bottled Water, Best Sparkling Water, Best Purified Water and Best Flavored Essence Sparkling.
The most prestigious award is to receive the Best Bottled Water in the World award.
Grand Springs Water of Alton has received this prestigious award twice in years past winning it back to back in 2008 and 2009, Smith said.
“This year the water gods did not smile on the Grand Springs team with the best in the world award, but Grand Springs did claim silver which is the second best in the world,” the Grand Springs owner said. “So Grand Springs can legitimately make the claim of having the best water in the USA for the year 2019.”
With that being said, the gold medal winner was Smeraldina Natural Artesian Water from Sardinia, Italy.
The Best Municipal Water in the World category went to Clearbrook, British Columbia, and the Best Sparkling category was awarded to Mountain Valley Spring Water Sparkling in Hot Springs, Arizona.
The Best Purified Drinking Water for 2019 was awarded to Berkeley Springs Purified Water in Berkley Springs, West Virginia, and the Best Flavored Essence Sparkling Water for 2019 was also awarded to Mountain Valley Sparkling Water.
The owner of Grand Springs in Alton said, “It is truly an honor anytime your product ends up in the top five best waters in the world, but to be voted second in the world and to be second to a water from Italy does make us be the best water in the USA for 2019.”
Smith added, “That’s not too shabby for a little country operation, especially when we had a product place third in the 2018 competition. Grand Springs has entered product in the competition four times in the past 12 years and placed in the top three all four times. I would say we have a quality product based on those findings.”
Judging the event are 10 independent judges who are selected from the regional and national media and have no connection to the water industry who are trained for a day in how to judge water.
“It is a process similar to wine tasting,” Smith explained.
Arthur Von Wiesenberger, considered to be a water master who trains the judges, said, “The consistency in winners from year to year with different panels of judges validates the impressively high caliber of the waters entered into the competition.”