For more than 250 years Berkeley Springs, named for the natural healing mineral waters, has been a center for health and hospitality. Health seekers, George Washington among them, followed Native American tales and came to “take the waters” on the edge of the 18th -century frontier.
To celebrate the importance of water in 1991 Berkeley Springs began hosting the Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting. This event welcomes waters from fourteen countries, and states from California to Florida on Saturday, February 24, 2024. Held at The Country Inn in the historic spa town of Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, it is the largest and longest running water tasting in the world, dubbed by BuzzFeed and The Week “the world’s most prestigious water tasting.”
More than 735 distinct waters have entered over the life of the event, coming from all over the United States and from as far away as Greece, New Zealand, Tajikistan and Japan. Entries from 59 countries, DC and all but three states have been represented since the beginning in 1991. “The impact of winning this event is extraordinary for a bottler,” said Jill Klein Rone, event producer.
There is a role for the public. All day Saturday, they taste water along with the judges. The public votes for the People’s Choice Award for best packaging. 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.
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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. The unique event, dubbed the “granddaddy of water tastings,” by von Wiesenberger, is produced by Travel Berkeley Springs.