Pioneering Tavern Owner Dies

Ray Deter succumbs to injuries suffered in bike accident

Ray Deter, 53 the longtime owner of d.b.a., the groundbreaking New York beer bar, died Sunday after being critically injured in a bicycle accident on June 27. He is survived by his wife, Catherine Lepp and two teenage sons.

The East Village bar has been a long time and well-known purveyor of exceptional beers. The bar also anticipated the renewed American interest in whiskies and spirits, with an excellent selection of single malts, bourbons, tequilas and ports. Eventually, Mr. Deter opened branches of d.b.a. in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and in New Orleans.

Deter is credited with pioneered the serving of cask-conditioned ales in New York.

Deter was a host of Beer Sessions Radio in recent years, an Internet program on Heritage Radio Network, which focused on beer history, culture and lore. He was also involved with the Good Beer Seal, an organization that granted seals of approval to bars in the New York City area that were committed to properly presenting great beers.


  1. LuskusDelph says

    I knew Ray, having lived around the corner from each other when we were growing up in NJ. I ran into him a number of times at New Brunswick, NJ’s OLD BAY RESTAURANT (another ahead-of-its-time beer destination 20 years ago) and remember when he was just opening d.b.a. and how passionate he was about really ‘doing it up right’. And he did just that.
    The horribly tragic accident that claimed his life was a very sad end for a great guy, and a great modern day publican.