It is with incredible sadness that I acknowledge that my friend Ray Deter of d.b.a. passed away this Sunday after being struck by a car while riding his bicycle on Canal Street. I first met Ray right after he opened d.b.a. in 95. As a fellow beer freak, we all flocked to the bar where beers we always read about, but never had, were available on draft. For years Ray also hosted wonderful tastings with John Hansell of the Whiskey Advocate. He would scramble with his long limbs carrying 2 bottles in his hand pouring the whiskey in our glasses. I have so many wonderful memories sitting in that bar with friends over the years.
I was so honored when Ray signed up as a judge in our first spirits competition. I knew that someone of that experience as a trade buyer and a lover of good stuff would be a great opinionated judge….and he was.
Ray also committed to judging in the competition in October. When I told him about my idea for the beer competition he was on board immediately and wanted Carbone to join in also. Ray was a friend and a great supporter of both myself and my endeavor to launch this competition.
I am shocked by his death. I am not a poet nor a great writer, but I want to acknowledge his passing on behalf of myself and the New York International Spirits Competition. For those who would like to learn more about him, Eric Asimov wrote a nice piece for the New York Times here: http://dinersjournal.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/07/05/remembering-ray-deter-of-d-b-a/
You will be missed on many levels my friend.
New York International Spirits Competition