APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV) – Owners of a yarn shop and a brewery walk into a bar. It may sound like the start of a joke, but it’s the true story of how Casting On and McFleshman’s in Appleton came together to start Hanks & Hops.

Casting On owner Sara Rabideau and McFleshman’s co-owner Allison McCoy Fleshman met on Small Business Saturday last year. It was then they got the idea to bring two unlikely businesses together for one event.

The first part is “Hanks” where knitters and crocheters partake in “Yarnie Social Time” at Casting On from 11-1 every Sunday. During this time, people come together to work on and share their projects.

Rabideau says, “Knitting, crocheting, hand crafts are relaxing. It is a kind of meditation after a busy day, and you get to create beautiful things. You can spend the same amount of money on dinner and a show, and that’s gone, and if you create something with your hands, it lasts forever.”

After crafting at Casting On, you can head over to McFleshman’s for a different kind of craft.

From 1-3, members of the Casting On crowd walk to McFleshman’s. There, people receive a punch card and after 4 Sundays buying a drink (they do not have to be consecutive), they earn a free pint of a drink of their choosing and 50% off an item at Casting On.

McCoy Fleshman says, “By sharing the same space, we can show some the Casting On folks who have never been to McFleshman’s realize ‘Oh wow, this is a great place’ or the McFleshman’s folks who are like ‘You know, I really wanted to pick up a craft’, then they go on to Casting On, and so it’s this really nice Venn diagram of small business support.”

Hanks and Hops regulars, like Sarah Mooren of Appleton, say the event is a great way for a community of people to share their love for a unique hobby.

“It just creates a community in a hobby that could be very singular where you’re by yourself. It’s nice to do it with people who share your same passions,” Mooren says.

Casting On also hosts another Yarnie Social Time on Wednesdays from 4 to 6:30.