BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. – The “largest and longest-running water tasting in the world” is back in Berkeley Springs this weekend.
The 32nd annual International Water Tasting is coming to the Country Inn in Berkeley Springs Friday and Saturday.
As many as forty waters have been entered in the non-carbonated category, but that number will be whittled down in preliminary judging before the finals.
Producer Jill Klein Rone talked about the process. “We are the largest and longest-running water tasting in the world. We taste water in four categories – Municipal, Purified, Sparkling, and bottled Non-Carbonated water that people send us from all over the world,” she said.
The annual event draws a panel of esteemed judges and waters from all over in determining the best aroma, taste, after-taste, and ‘mouth feel.’
“Actually, we have waters from 18 countries, 16 states, and three Canadian provinces this year. Over the lifetime of the event, we’re up to 59 countries and all but three states,” according to Rone.
And while Berkeley Springs has its own delicious water, Rone said it’s fun for waters the world over to see how they measure up.
“There’s good water all over the world and we like to recognize that. For waters around the world, they like to see how they’re doing in comparison with others. It gives them bragging rights,” Rone said. “The winners put the medals –we give gold, silver, and bronze medals – they put them on their labels,”
On Friday from 1 to 5 in the afternoon, there will be a seminar on the importance of water entitled “Beneath the Surface and Around the Globe. ”
Saturday is when judging takes place.
“During the day on Saturday, when the doors are open to the public from 2:30 to 4:30 and then again at 6:30 when we’re actually doing the tasting, the public can come in and watch that and vote for package design,” said Rone.
At the end of the event is the Water Rush, where a crowd dismantles an artfully crafted display of water bottles so they can take a taste home for themselves.
After more than three decades, the tasting remains a draw to the Morgan County town.
“This is our 32nd year and it’s pretty amazing. We never imagined what it would become and that we’d still be doing it all these years later,” Rone reflected.
More information can be found at https://berkeleyspringswatertasting.com