While the world focused on Gold, Silver, and Bronze medal winners on February 23, the final day of Winter Olympics in Sochi, on the same day in Berkley Springs, West Virginia (“The Country’s First Spa”), another set of winners was announced, more quietly: winners of the 24th annual Berkley Springs International Water Tasting — the “Oscars” of water tasting.
This year’s entrants came from 18 states, 3 Canadian provinces, and 12 other countries.
This was the first year there was an entry from Africa. It was an entry from Tanzania. With this entry, all five continents were represented at the tasting.
1st — Clearbrook, British Columbia
2nd — Santa Ana, California
3rd — Greenwood, British Columbia
4th (a tie) — Dickinson, North Dakota and Montpelier, Ohio
5th — Emporia, Kansas
1st — Castle Rock Water from Dunsmuir, California
2nd (a tie) — Natural Spring Water from Eldorado, Colorado and Samaria Natural Springs Water from Crete, Greece
3rd — Moutain Drop from Linthicum, Maryland
4th (a tie) — Element from Vmjacka Banja, Serbia and Avita Premium Artesian Alkaline Water from Roscommon, Michigan
Ironically, this event took place not far from Charleston, West Virginia where on January 9 a chemical spill tainted tap water in nine counties. Tap water coming out of faucets of 300,000 West Virginians smelled like licorice.
There was no entry from Charleston in the Berkeley Springs tasting this year.
• Berkley Springs: berkeleysprings.com/water/about.htm
• BottledWaterWeb: the definitive bottle water site: www.bottledwaterweb.com/calendardetail.do?k=310
• Fox News: foxnews.com/leisure/2014/02/23/water-tasting-contest-in-west-virginia-names-winners/