Remembering Ray Deter, Owner of d.b.a. Beer Bars During NYC Good Beer Month

July 1, 2011

The last time I saw Ray Deter, owner of the d.b.a. beer bars in the East Village, New Orleans and Brooklyn, we were attending the party to announce the recent Good Beer Seal award winners, a distinction he himself had helped create and had earned for both of his NYC bars.

d.b.a. Brooklyn, NYC beer bar

The beer selection is displayed on chalkboards over the bar at d.b.a. Brooklyn.

We had what is probably the longest conversation I ever had with him — even after I’d guested on the show he co-hosted with Jimmy Carbone, Beer Sessions Radio, in February. We discussed beer, beer bars, the state of beer in the city and he congratulated me on my engagement. He also said that he hoped my fiance knew how lucky he was to have me.

I have not known Ray long nor do I know him very well. But the tragic news of his accident and the news today from his wife (on this, the first day of Good Beer Month) that he will not make it through the weekend is very saddening. The loss of Ray Deter is a blow to the beer community in two cities and nationwide. He will be missed by his family, his dear friends, loyal bar patrons and many, many others. We here at Beer Goggins feel the need to raise a glass and pay tribute to someone who has certainly left his mark on the world of beer.

On the most recent installment of Beer Sessions, Jimmy noted that Saison Dupont was one of Ray’s favorite beers. I visited d.b.a. in the East Village this week with a couple of friends. It was busy as usual — filled with a remarkably oblivious crowd. But there were a few somber folks quietly sitting at the bar. In Ray’s honor, I ordered a Saison Dupont and enjoyed it on the patio during what was a very beautiful afternoon.

Here’s to you Ray — I hope there’s a warm bar stool waiting for you at the big beer bar in the sky.

Today begins the first day of Good Beer Month in New York City — an event Ray also helped create. We recognize small, independent bars dedicated to serving good beer during July because of Ray and his co-creators. There’s no doubt that d.b.a. is one of those bars so be sure to stop by and pay your respects sometime soon.

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One Response to Remembering Ray Deter, Owner of d.b.a. Beer Bars During NYC Good Beer Month

  1. July 1, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    I have known Ray a very long time. He opened DBA before we opened David Copperfield’s on the upper east side, which was back in 1998. He was a true pioneer here in NYC. Always a gentleman. When we opened Hop Devil Grill in 2005 Ray was very supportive. He will be sorely missed. I am an avid biker as Ray is, so this is doubly disturbing for me.

    Keith Reichenbach

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