The 30th Annual Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting festival kicks off this Thursday, February 20 downtown as waters from around the globe are poured for panels of judges.
The event this year welcomes more than one hundred waters from across the country and around the world.
Preliminary judging starts Thursday, followed by water-themed seminars on Friday, February 21. Final judging and awards will be presented on Saturday, February 22 during a gala event open to the public.
All events associated with the festival are held at The Country Inn.
On Saturday, tasting of municipal waters, followed by purified drinking water, begins at 2:30 p.m. Bottled waters, both still and sparkling, are tasted at 6:30 p.m. Winners in all categories are announced at a public awards reception at 8 p.m.
New this year is municipal water from Innsbruck, Austria.
“The impact of winning this event is extraordinary for a bottler,” said Jeanne Mozier, one of the event founders. “Several have experienced exponential growth, others closed major deals, and almost all winners redesign their labels to display their winning medal.”
All day Saturday, the public can taste water along with the judges. Most importantly,
the public votes for two People’s Choice awards, one for best packaging and one for best flavored essence sparkling water.
“The real excitement for the audience comes at the conclusion,” she explains. “Once the awards are presented, we stage the now world-famous ‘water rush’ where folks scramble to take home some of the hundreds of bottles of water that have been used for display.”
Watermaster Arthur von Wiesenberger, noted expert and author from Santa Barbara, CA, trains the media judges and directs the challenge of evaluating a product where tastelessness is the most sought after quality. Travel Berkeley Springs produces the unique event.
Handcrafted glass water drops, created by West Virginia’s Appalachian Glass, are presented as awards in the municipal, bottled and still water categories as well as for purified drinking water and best packaging design.
This year’s Judges include representatives from Business Insider TV, Blue Ridge Outdoors and WV Executive Magazines, as well as journalists whose work appears in the Washington Post, Washingtonian and Travel and Leisure Magazine, among others, as well as podcasts and blogs.
The award-winning event was featured on a National Geographic Today television special as well as repeated documentaries, is a chapter in John Lingan’s book “Homeplace,” and has been named to various top event lists.
“Water: Beneath the Surface and Around the Globe,” the event’s seminar, addresses industry issues on Friday, February 21 from 1 – 5 p.m.
Topics include the healing waters of Berkeley Springs, chemistry of springs of Ancient Greece, trees as water movers and protectors, and the growing problem of PFAS in water systems throughout the US.
Both the seminar and Saturday night’s events are live streamed on BerkeleySpringsWV Facebook page.
Arthur von Wiesenberger, founder of BottledWaterWeb, broadcaster, author and advocate for protecting and providing the best water possible will receive the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award.
As longtime water master of the Water Tasting, he is always generous sharing his knowledge and advice at the event with anyone asking.
WaterExpo Guangzhou 2020 and Guangzhou Informa Yi Fan Exhibitions Co., Ltd of China is the presenting sponsor of the Lifetime Achievement Award.
For more information, call 800-447-8797 or check the award-winning Website — www.berkeleysprings.com.