Policy regarding alcohol

One thing that was mentioned during the potluck was policy regarding alcohol.

Is there a “party protocol” where alcohol is allowed, if the shop closed for the night? This was relayed as being a policy, please correct if this is not the case. If it is, then there isn’t a zero tolerance regarding alcohol, but a zero tolerance regarding alcohol and machine and shop usage.

This has possible fundraising implications that do not shut down operations and showcases them instead.


Thanks for the poke, Gary. The member handbook and Acknowledgment of Risk and Release of Liability that I found in LMN’s Google drive forbid the presence of anyone intoxicated through drug or alcohol use on the premises, including being under the influence of medications that carry warnings about driving or use of machinery.

I’ll double-check with other board members to ensure these documents are current because if the term “alcohol” isn’t present in current versions or they’re in a new location where I don’t know to look then I may be providing inaccurate information.

Thank you for responding. I was thinking less about intoxication, which shouldn’t happen, and more about a zero tolerance policy. Allowing alcohol opens the possibility of wine and cheese fundraisers. It also would allow such things as a homebrew club and tastings, which are things that I would indeed participate in.

A more directed policy would disallow tool and workshop usage for those participating in fundraising, club, or tasting, while allowing others access as normal.

Got you. I’m unaware of and am unable to find a policy in our Google drive. I’ll follow up with the rest of the board to see if it’s a search fail on my part.

If no policy exists, let’s wait to host any events with alcohol until the board can develop a policy around alcohol at fundraising events.

not just fundraising events, but hopefully also a policy around just beer at internal events. i could be wrong but i know gary brews neat things and i imagine part of this is “can i bring in my brews to show off at the next potluck” (correct me if i am wrong, though @GaryB)

For a special event, we could have alcohol, but we would close down the shop, meaning not allow machine use. We have had exactly one such event that I can remember, which was when we first opened up in the Temple Club. It was the Lansing Makers Network Opening Party: LMNOP*. At that time, we had no machinery, so that really wasn’t an issue.

A private event, say for members and invited guests, is much easier than a public event, where we would need a temporary liquor license. Not impossible, but it becomes a Whole Thing, with applications and fees and responsibilities.

*Yes, it was legendary, but that is a relative term.

@billehhg, pretty much, but more for feedback than showing off. (The first rule of brew club: you can talk about brew club…)

For a big whopping special event, yeah, close the shop. If it’s public, the law says no homebrew (you need to go through a distributor or jump through other hoops to serve commercial products).

For members and invited guests, things are or can be more relaxed. A hand stamp would be good to say “no machine use”, but official policy will either allow or disallow that. If someone walked into the space and said, “I’m just here for the meeting because I just started a med that says do not operate machinery”, I don’t think the shop needs to close down. Trust is what we operate under now, expecting that 24/7 members don’t walk in under the influence of anything they agreed not to be under the influence of.

I’m expecting a well thought out policy. I’m hoping to bring in some of my stuff at appropriate and approved times, if allowed. Or I’ll continue to do so at a couple other clubs elsewhere with no hard feelings.

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So this seems to be broken into a couple of different asks,

  1. Casual consumption (not an event, just having an alcoholic beverage at the space): Not allowed
  2. “Meetings” (as in a home brew club or other small group): Maybe, with more research into the legal requirements and what risks we need to mitigate, but will likely not be approved any time soon. Given there are other opportunities / clubs in the area for this and we have plenty of things to figure out inside the model of a makerspace.
  3. Fundraisers / Official Events: As a nonprofit, LMN can apply for a limited number of liquor licenses per year. During these event where LMN serves alcohol we’d also restrict the use of dangerous equipment. (i.e, the shops may be “closed” during the event)

In all cases, our member handbook does prohibit/strongly discourage the use of intoxicating substances while using equipment.

Hope this helps, its possible things will change in the future, but for the time being, this is where we stand.

  • Brian