In some ways, America’s pending shift to allow equity crowdfunding starts with beer.
Two advertising executives in 2009 created a website to raise money from individuals to buy Pabst Brewing Co., which makes the hipster favorite Pabst Blue Ribbon. They raised more than $200 million, according to a report from The New York Times.
Problem was, that wasn’t strictly legal. They hadn’t registered those securities with the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission, which shut down the acquisition attempt, the Times reported in 2011.
At the time, federal securities law didn’t allow for non-accredited investors to purchase shares in a company through crowdfunding.