Grand Lodge Policies concerning Liquor
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.
||Masonic Rules, Policies, and Practices concerning Liquor
||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
||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
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 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 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
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;
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 . . . "
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 has no prohibition on alcohol manufacture, bottling, sales,
trade, or transport of alcoholic beverages.
||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
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 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 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.
||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
||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 Book of Constitutions
"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
Trial Code, Section 2. "Drunkenness is a Masonic offense, and the
lodges should be rigid in their discipline on this subject."
||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.
||Michigan GL law allows each Temple Association to decide if it wants to allow alcohol in its building or not.
||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."
||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)
||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:
2. Habitual intemperance and drunkenness;
||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
||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.
||Masonic Law of New York
Section 1138. "The practice of habitual drunkenness is a Masonic
||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
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."
||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 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
||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. . . ."
||In the list of Masonic offenses, other than violating your obligation, are the
"Thou Shalt Not".
5. To indulge in the intemperate use of intoxicating liquor, gambling or profane
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
||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
3. This edict further does not prohibit the private, temperate social
use of alcohol by Masons present at sessions of the Grand Lodge of
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,
||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."
Every lodge is charged to strictly exclude from its temple and grounds all
intoxicating liquors and fermented malt beverages with the following
(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.
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.
||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
Masonic Rules, Policies, and Practices concerning