A farewell to a friend

We received word yesterday that our friend Ray Deter, owner of d.b.a. in the East Village, Williamsburg, and New Orleans, has passed away after injuries he sustained when a driver collided with him on a bike last Monday afternoon.

Ray was one of the biggest supporters of craft beer in New York, and did so long before the craze had really caught on. He was a pioneer in New York, as d.b.a. was serving great beer from across the country and around the world well over a decade and a half ago. He was involved in the Good Beer Seal program, a co-host of Beer Sessions Radio, and an all-around booster of craft beer and fine wine and spirits.

But Ray was so much more than that, too. In the only two years that we knew him, he was an all-around great guy. He was a true Renaissance Man who could espouse about fine whiskeys, great music, and the culture of the Louisiana bayou all in the same conversation. Ray wasn’t one to be intimidated by challenges; heck, he opened a branch of his bar 1,300 miles away in New Orleans because he loved the city. Ray had a calm, collected demeanor at first glance, but once you got to know him, you quickly learned he was a fun-loving guy who would gladly go out of his way for you. He often played comic foil on Beer Sessions Radio, and he always kept things in good spirits - pardon the pun - at his bars. In a city of pessimistic bar owners and come-and-go bars, Ray┬ádid what he loved and loved what he did.

Ray may be leaving us, but his spirit will certainly live on. It’s fitting that we raise our glasses to Ray during Good Beer Month this month, to celebrate his life and the great craft beer that he helped promote.

So long, Ray. You will be deeply missed.

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    This is so sad. I didn’t know him personally at all, but I planned my trip to Belgium around the recommendations on...
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New York City's source for local news about craft beer, beer bars, and beer culture in the five boroughs and beyond. | Editor: Chris O'Leary