Sen. Tina Smith is backing legislation aimed at supporting Minnesota's growing craft brewers, vintners and distillers.

The Craft Beverage Modernization Act would help Minnesota's brewers, distillers, and winemakers by addressing excise taxes, compliance issues, and regulations that supporters say can put up obstacles to the industry.

'There are craft breweries in so many small towns in southern Minnesota that are really contributing to the local economic development," says Smith. "So I'm really happy to be able to support that work."

In 2014, the brewing industry alone had a national economic impact of more than $253 billion.

Wine contributed more than $162 billion and spirits contributed more than $120 billion.

--- KEYC News 12