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From Banks to Brews: Nexus Brewery and Restaurant

By Ratasha Smith

After 35 years in the banking business, Ken Carson Jr. went from banks to brews and opened Nexus Brewery and Restaurant in Albuquerque in 2011. "When I told my wife that I was going to quit my banking job and open a brewery, she said, 'Great!'" Carson says.

" I felt like I was in the middle of my favorite Star Trek: The Next Generation movie, where Captain Kirk and Picard gets pulled into the NEXUS, a heavenly place where everything is perfect? to open an establishment that rivals Kirk's nirvana, oh my goodness, I have to do this!" he says.

With head brewer Kaylynn McKnight at the helm, Nexus has a small variety of craft beers on tap daily."Major brand beer lacks taste and craft beer offers so many styles," says Carson. "Once you find your favorite craft beer and become more educated on the varieties it is hard to go back to the majors."

Beer flavors range from their more traditional brews, such as their Cream Ale to out-of-the-box flavors like their, Honey Chamomile Wheat. Nexus also offers a couple of seasonal beers like their Irish Red, which arrives just in time for St. Patrick's Day.

"I have always enjoyed visiting breweries around the country when I was a banker," says Carson. "I decided to get out of banking after 35 years and I was inspired by my bank customers to open my own business. After considering all the possibilities I decided that I would open a brewery. A place where the community could come to enjoy a relaxed atmosphere with great beer."

Although great beer may be Nexus' flagship item, the brewery and restaurant also offers a great menu, where New Mexican flavors meets southern cooking. Nexus offers traditional southern fare such as fried chicken, New Orleans style gumbo and collard greens.

However, Carson explains that the Nexus "exbeerience" goes beyond great beer and great food. "I believe it is not only about the product but it is about community, local business, a place to feel at home and enjoy others company," Carson says.

Beer aficionados can become a Nexus Neighbor to receive discounts on beer, invites to member-only events, and more. Five dollars from every membership fee paid goes into the Nexus Community Fund, which benefits different non-profit organizations.

If you want a look behind the scenes, book a brewery tour with head brewer Kaylynn and learn what goes into making some of Nexus' best beers.

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About The Author

Ratasha Smith is a correspondent for the Inner-City Newspaper in New Haven,...

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