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New craft brewery opens in the Southland

The veteran-owned Steam Hollow Brewing Co. opened recently in Manteno, Illinois.

A new craft brewery opened in south exurban Manteno, about 18 miles west of the state line.

The veteran-owned Steam Hollow Brewing Co. opened the small Illinois town's first microbrewery at 450 Spruce St., Unit C.

After a successful Kickstarter campaign, owners Blane and Natalie White, both U.S. Navy veterans, opened the 7,500-square-foot brewery in Kankakee County about a half hour's drive from Lowell with "industrial and rustic elements and an air of steampunk."

"Built with sweat and ingenuity, the brewery is beautiful and welcoming," Steam Hollow Brewing said in a press release. "Guests will want to check out the steampunk-inspired mechanical logo located above the bar, which was made by a family friend who used antique mechanisms and gadgets to create a one-of-a-kind work of art."

The brewery has 16 taps, allows dogs, has live music on Saturdays and plans to host food trucks. It brews beers like the Steam Hollow Pale Ale, the Kranky Orange, and the Tart Raspberry Blonde.

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"Husband and wife team Blane and Natalie know that the recipe for great tasting beer starts and ends with people," Steam Hollow said Brewing in a press release. "The Whites are residents of Manteno and look forward to becoming an integral part of the community. Both have served in the U.S. Navy and appreciate the support that they have received as their brewery has taken shape. They look to combine high-quality ingredients, traditional brewing techniques and complex flavor profiles in their beer while providing a relaxed environment in which guests can unwind and enjoy themselves."

It's one of many craft breweries to crop up across the state line in Chicago's Southland in recent years, including 350 Brewing Co. in Tinley Park, Evil Horse Brewing Co. in Crete, Hailstorm Brewing Co. in Tinley Park, Rapid Brewing in Homewood, Vice District Brewing in Homewood, One Trick Pony in Lansing, and Trail's Edge Brewing Co. in Frankfort.

The Chicago metropolitan area, including Northwest Indiana, is home to 167 craft breweries, more than any other metro area in the country, according to the Brewers Associations.

For more information, visit www.steamhollowbrewing.com.

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.