Guinness is officially the most valuable Irish brand in the world, according to a new brand valuation report. 

The famous Irish stout saw its brand value grow by a whopping 3.6% to €2.2 billion over the past year, according to consultancy firm Brand Finance. 

Guinness enjoyed a strong 2021 due in part to the reopening of pubs and recaptured first place from Penneys, which fell to second. 

A trifecta of Irish construction and engineering companies took third place, including Ardagh Group, Kingspan and Smurfit Kappa, with all three companies experiencing major growth last year. 

Meanwhile, budget airline Ryanair rose to fourth thanks to the return of international travel. The company's value is now marginally higher than it was before the pandemic thanks to a huge 26% growth last year, according to the Brand Finance report. 

Simon Haigh of Brand Finance Ireland said Guinness's growth in 2021 reflected its skill "navigating the challenges of Covid-19". 

"Some Guinness customers see drinking Guinness as an important part of their lifestyle. This is a testament to the extraordinary brand strength that Guinness has built," Haigh said. 

"Such strength reflects their skill in navigating the challenges of Covid-19, the challenges of serving a changing customer base, and doing all this while honouring the brand legacy that they have built since 1759.

"The Guinness brand is in an excellent position as people get back to gathering, celebrating, and drinking."

Penneys, on the other hand, saw its value drop for a second consecutive year, perhaps reflecting the difficulties encountered by a clothing retailer that doesn't offer online shopping.