Liquor
Home Up

 

Grand Lodge Policies concerning Liquor

The information on this chart comes from various sources, mostly email messages from several brethren. If anyone has definite information for additions or changes on this chart, please send email to Paul M. Bessel at paulb'at'bessel.org so I can update this chart.

United States

State Masonic Rules, Policies, and Practices concerning Liquor
Alabama Section 1.7 says that any member of Grand Lodge, or a visitor, who appears at Grand Lodge in a state of intoxication shall be reprimanded by the Grand Master in the Grand Lodge and arraigned and tried by his lodge.
Section 25.5 says unmasonic conduct includes "to be guilty of drunkenness," "aiding in illicit distilling of intoxicating liquors," or "to engage in the business of illegally retailing spiritous, vinous, or malt liquors."
Section 25.7 says any Mason who visits a lodge or participates in a Masonic procession or funeral while intoxicated is guilty of unmasonic conduct, and if his lodge does not prefer charges against him the "derelict" lodge is to be reported to the Grand Master or Grand Lodge.
Alaska  
Arizona GM Decision No. 91 (1887). Masonry prohibits intemperance and excess, and no drunkard should be admitted to the Order, or retained when good counsel, fraternal influence and friendly admonition fail to effect a reform. A laxity on the part of Lodges in disciplining offending members will entail a speedy revocation of their charters.

GM Decision No. 91.1 (1889). The laws of the fraternity on the subjects of intemperance, gambling and profanity, if enforced, are sufficient safeguard.

GM Decision No. 92 (1908). No intoxicating wines or liquors are allowed to be used as a beverage at any banquet, luncheon or other entertainment held by a Lodge of this jurisdiction within any Lodge room under its control.

Approved GM Recommendation No. 28 (1985). That the provisions of Decision 92 are considered not to have been violated when wine is used in conformity with traditional ritual of a Masonic body which has been authorized to make use of a Masonic Temple for the purpose of conferring any of the other accepted and authorized masonic Degrees and Orders.
Arkansas Arkansas Digest of Laws, Section 287:
No man who is engaged in the sale of intoxicating liquors shall be initiated, advanced, affiliated, or reinstated by any of the Lodges of this Grand Jurisdiction. Those who are members, if they engage in the business of selling intoxicating liquors as a beverage, shall not be allowed to retain their membership in the Lodge. Pro. 1900, p. 116.
California California Masonic Code Section 15050:
Alcoholic beverages may be sold, served, and consumed on property owned by or leased to a Masonic Lodge, Temple Association or Masonic Organization and at Masonic activities held elsewhere if the following requirements are observed:
a. Alcoholic beverages may not be sold, served, or consumed in a Lodge room or in a room in which Masonic ceremonies are normally conducted except when such room serves a dual purpose as a ceremonial room and social room;
b. A Masonic Lodge, Temple Association, or Masonic organization may not maintain, on a regular or permanent basis, a bar stocked with alcoholic beverages;
c. The funds of a Masonic Lodge or Temple Association may not be used to purchase alcoholic beverages;
d. Alcoholic beverages may not be served, consumed, or sold during the course of a meeting of a Masonic Lodge, Temple Association, or Masonic Organization;
e. A Masonic Lodge or Temple Association may not directly or indirectly apply for assume title to, or operate under any government license or permit for the purpose of consuming, serving or selling alcoholic beverages, whether in, on, or away from premises owned, leased, or rented by either of them;
f. A Masonic Lodge, Temple Association, or Masonic Organization may not rent or lease property in which it has an ownership interest to business establishments wherein alcoholic beverages are served, consumed, or sold unless such service, consumption, and sale are incident to and not the primary purpose of the business; and
g. Any sale, service, or consumption of alcoholic beverages pursuant to this section must comply with all applicable laws of the State of California.

California Masonic Code
Section 32020. "The following breaches of faith or moral turpitude constitute unmasonic conduct . . . .
Habitual intemperance and drunkenness . . . "
Colorado
Sec. 116 - Intoxicating Liquors
A Lodge may allow private parties to bring alcoholic beverages on to the premises for private consumption but not for sale, at functions, such as weddings, receptions, business meetings and social functions.  Such use may not take place during the time period from two hours prior to, during, and for two hours after all lodge meetings and meetings of: appendant bodies; Masonic organizations as defined in Section 64; all Masonic youth groups to include International Order of DeMolay and the International Order of Rainbow For Girls; and the Order of The Eastern Star.
Connecticut Connecticut has no prohibition on alcohol manufacture, bottling, sales, trade, or transport of alcoholic beverages.
Delaware Delaware Masonic Code
Section 23-1. "All Lodges shall enforce the Masonic law in reference to unmasonic conduct, and more especially against habitual drunkenness . . . ."
District of Columbia ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES
1.—Use of alcoholic beverages limited to the following basic policies:
a. Under no circumstances is alcohol to be used where the building management forbids it.
b. At no time is alcohol to be used in a Lodge room and will not be used as regular Lodge refreshments, but shall be reserved for very special occasions or ceremonies. Use is specifically restricted to designated social areas of the Lodge building. Excessive use will not be tolerated and the rule of good Masonic conduct must prevail.
c. At no time will alcohol be sold within the areas used by any Masonic Lodge. Sale of alcohol within any Masonically owned building will be strictly where proper permits are held and then only for commercial use.
d. No Masonic Lodge, club or any other organization basing its membership on the Masonic Fraternity will: (1) Hold a license to sell alcohol in a Masonic Lodge building, (2) Advertise or communicate in any manner, anything which alludes to, suggests or states specifically the use of any alcoholic beverages at any function, meeting or gathering of Masons from Lodges in the District of Columbia.
e. Where alcohol is forbidden by building management (Policy No. 1l, it is recommended that special permission be granted under Policy No. 2, when proper application is made to the governing Lodge's officers/trustees to hold a Table Lodge or other service where alcohol is anticipated.
Any breach of the above policies or interpretation so as to avoid the intent of them shall be considered sufficient to bring charges against any or all involved.
It is the intent of this edict to preserve the reputation of our Lodges, and to respect the desires of all of our members, as well as to maintain the respect we now hold in our community. The danger of the use of alcohol is the impropriety which can develop. By this edict may it be that such will in no case be tolerated.—James M. Burns, G.M., Proc. 1984, p. 53. 
Florida Florida Digest of Masonic Law
"Section 28.06 - A Particular Lodge shall not allow or permit its property or premises or any part thereof to be used for the sale or dispensing or serving of alcoholic beverages nor for conducting thereon of games of chance, lotteries, or any other form of gambling, nor for any illegal or immoral purposes. These prohibitions shall apply to all Table Lodges but the use of wine for Ceremonial purposes by Allied and Appendant Bodies shall not be prohibited. (1992)"
"Section 44.05 - Serving or sale of beer, wine, liquor or any other alcoholic or intoxicating beverage on any property owned or leased by the Grand Lodge or a Particular Lodge or at any meeting called, held, sponsored or conducted by or under auspices of a Particular Lodge or the Grand Lodge is strictly prohibited. These prohibitions shall apply to all table Lodges but the use of wine for Ceremonial purposes by Allied and Appendant Bodies shall not be prohibited. (Amended 1982)"
Georgia Georgia Masonic Code - 2000

Section 77-115. "A member guilty of intoxication although only once, must be tried and punished. Drunkenness is ground for suspension; and, if habitual, for expulsion."

77-116. Liquor Business.--It is un-Masonic conduct for a Mason to apply for or to procure a license to sell intoxicants or to knowingly retain such a license in his name. Neither may a Mason operate a business in his name while possessing a license for the sale of intoxicants in the name of his wife. This section shall not be applicable to executives, managers, or employees of a firm where a Mason , who has no pecuniary interest herein excluding salary, as a condition of continued employment is required to obtain such a license in his name. No Lodge in Georgia shall initiate, pass or raise any candidate who is in violation of this Code Section.

Hawaii  
Idaho  
Illinois  
Indiana  
Iowa Masonic Code of Iowa
Section 386 Offenses Listed
"b. Liquor. The Grand Lodge expressly declares the intentional manufacture, transportation, sale, or possession of intoxicating liquors in violation of the laws of Iowa, or of the United States, a Masonic offense."
Kansas Grand Lodge of Kansas By-Laws
Chapter One - Duties of Masons
"Section 1-111. Manufacture of Sale of Intoxicating Liquor -- The unlawful manufacture or sale of intoxicating liquor by any Mason shall be deemed an offense against the Body of Masonry. (Adopted 1949, Amended 1973.) Interpretation: 1950 Proceedings, pages 256, 330. Cross-Reference: By-Law, Sec. 3-619."
"Section 3-619. Serving of Alcoholic Beverages -- The serving of beer or any other beverage having a recognized or indicated alcoholic content at any communication or social function of any Lodge, by the Lodge or by any committee or by any individual brother, shall be deemed an offense against the Body of Masonry. (Amended 1982)"
Kentucky Kentucky Book of Constitutions
Declaration
"Section 3. The Grand Lodge of Kentucky, F&AM, admonishes its members concerning the negative aspects of alcoholic beverages while at the same time advocating the practice of temperance. Drunkenness, as defined by applicable federal and/or state law, is a Masonic offense and should be punished.
No lodge shall apply for, nor hold and alcoholic beverage license as defined by Kentucky Revised Statutes and issued by the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board. In addition, no lodge shall have a bar serving alcoholic beverages."
Trial Code, Section 2. "Drunkenness is a Masonic offense, and the lodges should be rigid in their discipline on this subject."
Louisiana The following was reported to me in an email message:

LA. Law Book (1991 ed.) I find the following:
1)A Lodge can not hold any affair at any place where gambling takes place in any part of the building, or in the same building where liquor is dispensed or sold.
2) The application of one who manufactures or sells alcoholic beverages where it is lawful to engage in such business may be received by a Lodge. No one, after receiving the degrees, engaging in such business in a lawful manner, can be subject to charges on that account.

I have been to Scottish Rite Lodges in New Orleans where alcohol has been served, but this has been a few years back. It seems that our Grand Lodge does not have the power to rule on this.

Maine  
Maryland  
Massachusetts  
Michigan Michigan GL law allows each Temple Association to decide if it wants to allow alcohol in its building or not.
Minnesota Minnesota Masonic Regulations
Section G6.03. ". . . the following specific acts shall be deemed unmasonic conduct . . . to be addicted to the intemperate and habitual use of intoxicating liquors or beverages, or to become drunken therefrom."
Mississippi  
Missouri Constitution & By-Laws of the Grand Lodge of Missouri
Section 25.160 - Liquor Business Prohibited.
Any direct or indirect unlawful connection with the manufacture, sale or handling of intoxicating liquor is prohibited to Freemasons and no petition may be received from any person who is so connected. Further, any direction or indirect connection with the manufacture, sale or handling of intoxicating liquor which tend, or which occurs in a manner or under a surrounding which tend, to impair the good name of the Masonic institution or its usefulness, to cause scandal, or to degrade it in public estimation, or which is in anywise contrary to the principles, obligations or teaching is a Masonic offense. (Amended 1978-61)
Montana Statutes of the Grand Lodge of Montana
Section 23080. ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES. A Masonic Lodge may not use alcoholic beverages as a part of the refreshments provided at any banquet or other Masonic function.
Section 46020. UNMASONIC CONDUCT. The following breaches of faith or acts wrong in themselves constitute unmasonic conduct sufficient to support the filing of charges against a Mason:
B. ...
2. Habitual intemperance and drunkenness;
Nebraska  
Nevada  
New Hampshire  
New Jersey Sec 29.22 - "expressly forbidden to dispense within the lodge room, preparation rooms or banquet hall, while lodge is at labor, liquor wine or beer except by dispensation of the GM for a table lodge." - otherwise the Constitution makes no mention of members' profession
New Mexico Email from the GM: The constitution and By-laws of the Grand Lodge of New Mexico do not address the issue of alcohol on Masonic premises. The issue is left up to each individual Lodge, some of which have banned all alcohol on Lodge premises. Some Lodges hold table lodges where wine is served - others permit alcohol to be served at receptions held in the Lodge, etc. but that is normally by general Lodge policy. 
New York Masonic Law of New York
Section 1138. "The practice of habitual drunkenness is a Masonic offense."
North Carolina North Carolina Masonic Code

Section 86-2-31 "To own or keep what is commonly known as a liquor saloon, or to attend bar in a liquor saloon. A liquor saloon is defined under this section as a place where the main business is the sale of intoxicating liquors to be consumed on the premises; provided, it shall not be considered a Masonic Offense to operate a dining facility pursuant to the laws of the State of North Carolina where spiritous or intoxicating liquors are sold in strict conformity with the laws of the State of North Carolina. Penalty expulsion."

Section 97-02. "The following are specific Masonic offenses . . . Drunkenness is a serious Masonic offense."

North Dakota  
Ohio Ohio Masonic Code
Section 34.01. "To indulge in the excessive or habitual use of intoxicating liquors . . . shall be deemed a Masonic offense, and shall subject a Brother so offending to charges of UnMasonic conduct."
Oklahoma Oklahoma Grand Lodge Uniform Code
"Section U 805. Liquors with Alcoholic Content: It shall be a grave Masonic offense to introduce any intoxicating liquors into any lodge room or other rooms connected therewith, for any Mason to appear in a public place in an intoxicated condition, for any Mason to purchase for illegal resale, illegal transport or be in any way interested in the illegal sale or illegal purchase for resale or illegal transportation of intoxicating liquors. If any Mason shall be guilty of doing so, it shall be the duty of the Worshipful Master of the lodge in whose jurisdiction the offense may occur to order charges to be preferred against the offender and a trial to proceed thereon as in other cases. If any Worshipful Master shall refuse to perform his duty under this section or if any lodge shall fail to do its duty upon proper charges preferred, the Grand Master shall suspend the Worshipful Master or arrest the charter of the lodge (as his judgment may deem best) and report his action to the next annual communication of the Grand Lodge. A brother employed by a common carrier who transports intoxicating liquor is not violating this section."
Section U 806 says it is a Masonic offense to bring 3.2 beer into any lodge room or at any Masonic function or festivity.
(Section U 807 says, "Any kind of gambling (including games of chance), the use of profane language or any obscene talk and acts are hereby declared to be a Masonic offense and a bar to initiation, passing, raising and affiliation and shall subject the offender to suspension or expulsion.") 
Oregon  
Pennsylvania  
Rhode Island  
South Carolina  
South Dakota  
Tennessee Masonic Code of Tennessee
"Section 4.1301. . . . No person may be initiated, passed or raised who is engaged in the illegal manufacture or sale of intoxicating liquors as a beverage, or who owns, operates, or is employed in a place of business, where the sale of beer, either for consumption on the premises or to carry out, causes or permits said business to become disreputable and a discredit to the Fraternity . . ."

Tennessee Masonic Penal Code
Section 6.204. "The following are violations . . . and amount to Masonic offenses . . . Drunkeness. . . ."

Texas In the list of Masonic offenses, other than violating your obligation, are the following
"Thou Shalt Not".
5. To indulge in the intemperate use of intoxicating liquor, gambling or profane swearing.
6. To manufacture, give, barter, sell, exchange or transport intoxicating liquor unlawfully.
7. To consume, possess, have in possession, or sell intoxicating liquor in any portion of the Grand Lodge Memorial Building, or of any building or portion of any building occupied or used by any Lodge, provided, however, that this prohibition does not apply to small quantities of any such beverages or liquors required by existing rituals of such organizations in the conferring of its degrees or orders, or in the ceremonies in observance of special occasions required by existing regulations of such organizations; and further, this prohibition shall not apply to space properly leased for commercial purposes.
Utah  
Vermont  
Virginia An Edict E_1_1989
WHEREAS, on December 5, A. L. 5983, A. D. 1983, William Munford Johnson, then Grand Master of Masons in Virginia, issued his Edict declaring it illegal and un_Masonic for any Mason to bring or serve alcoholic beverages in any building or facility being used as a Masonic Lodge in this Commonwealth; and
WHEREAS, on December 13, A. L. 5983, A. D. 1983, said Edict was clarified by a ruling of the aforesaid Grand Master of Masons in Virginia that said Edict applied only to the use of alcoholic beverages for social functions held in a Masonic Lodge and did not apply to the use of wine for ritualistic ceremonies; and
WHEREAS, it appears even now that confusion exists as to the rules applying to the use of alcohol on Masonic premises, including sessions of the Grand Lodge of Virginia;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Cabell Flournoy Cobbs, Grand Master of Masons in the Commonwealth of Virginia, do by this Edict reaffirm and clarify the aforesaid Edict of William Munford Johnson, issued December 5, A. L. 5983, A. D. 1983, in the following terms:
1. No sojourning Mason or Mason belonging to a Lodge holden under the Grand Lodge of Virginia shall bring into or serve alcoholic beverages for social purposes in any building or facility being used as a Masonic Lodge in this Grand Jurisdiction, nor shall such beverages be served or offered for social purposes at the expense or behest of the Grand Lodge of Virginia during any of its sessions, annual or otherwise.
2. This Edict shall not apply to nor prohibit the introduction of wine on Masonic premises or during the sessions of the Grand Lodge of Virginia for ritual purposes, as provided in the ritual and ceremonies of any Masonic or appendant body, as for example, in the cornerstone and dedication ceremonies, table Lodges, and particular ceremonies of the Knights Templar.
3. This edict further does not prohibit the private, temperate social use of alcohol by Masons present at sessions of the Grand Lodge of Virginia.
This Edict is to be read by the Secretary of every subordinate Lodge at the stated communication next held after its receipt, a record of the reading being made in the minutes, and a copy posted in a conspicuous place in the Lodge's lobby or anteroom.
Given under my hand and the Seal of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge, Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons of the Commonwealth of Virginia, this fifteenth day of February, A. L. 5989, A. D. 1989 and in the 212th year of our Grand Lodge.
CABELL F. COBBS, Grand Master
Washington  
West Virginia West Virginia Laws of Masonry
Code of Masonic Offenses
Article II, Section 1. Note 415. "Intemperance in un-Masonic, and it is insisted that every Lodge strictly and diligently discipline any member . . . who shall . . . become intoxicated . . . thereby betraying the trust committed to him . . . and disgracing the cause of Masonry."
Wisconsin 64.06 Liquor. Every lodge is charged to strictly exclude from its temple and grounds all intoxicating liquors and fermented malt beverages with the following exceptions:
(a) Wine and beer may be allowed at Table Lodges, Festival Communications, Holidays and other special occasions and only upon dispensation from the Grand Master and, provided further, that no degree work is conferred and that a non-alcoholic beverage be provided for those who wish it.
(b) Serving of beer, wine, and other alcoholic beverages shall be allowed when the Temple and grounds have been leased to a tenant for the purpose of holding a non-masonic activity, provided no alcoholic beverages be served in the lodge room.
64.08 Leases forbidden if liquor to be sold.  A lodge is not permitted to lease property which it owns or controls to parties who are to use it in any manner for the sale of intoxicating liquors as a beverage.
Wyoming  
Summary In 3 states -- Arkansas, Georgia, and North Carolina -- it appears that you cannot be a Mason if you own a liquor business 

 Countries other than the United States

Country

Masonic Rules, Policies, and Practices concerning  Liquor

Japan  

 


Copyright © 1998-2015 by Paul M. Bessel - all rights reserved

If you have any suggestions, comments, or questions about this website, please feel free to send an email message to me:  paulb'at'bessel.org 

To see an index of other webpages with similar information, please feel free to click on the following:  http://bessel.org/webindex.htm

Please note that I no longer am updating the webpages about Freemasonry. I still maintain my memberships but otherwise I am not active.