Underneath a chocolate shop in Mamaroneck resides a small brewery, Decadent Ales. The brainchild of Paul Pignataro, Jim LeRay and Andrew LeRay, it opened June 2, one day after receiving its license to brew. In a space less than 1,800 sq ft, the three brew on a one-barrel system. They plan to upgrade to a 10-barrel system (or more) next year. “We’ll have to find a new location if we move to a bigger brewhouse,” says Jim.
Decadent Ales leans toward hoppy, but not necessarily bitter, beers. Among them is Opulence, a double-dry-hopped IPA that screams of Simcoe, Mosaic, and Citra hops; and Ambrosia, an IPA loaded with Amarillo hops. Unlike many IPAs, these beers aren’t heavy on bittering, focusing instead on a crisp balance of malt and hops, indicative of the new Northeast style.
The brewery also concentrates on high-alcohol brews. Two imperial stouts will be available this fall. One, flavored with cocoa nibs, coffee, and ancho chilies, hides its strength of 10.2% ABV. The second, a crème-brûlée-flavored stout, offers hints of caramel, vanilla, and burnt sugar.
Can a little guy like Decadent Ales claim a spot in Westchester? “It’s not about size; it’s the quality of beer,” Pignataro explains. “We’re doing small batches, and that gives us the freedom to be creative.” From what I’ve personally tasted, they’ve got the quality part down.