Direct employment in the Irish beer industry is up 8%, according to a report on the sector.
The Annual Market Report from the Irish Brewers Association (IBA), found that Irish beer industry exports are worth over €22m.
Over 700 million litres of beer were produced in 2014. In Ireland 43% of beer produced is exported and beer accounts for 19% of all beverage exports.
The craft beer sector continues to grow, making up an estimated 1.2% of the market, with 40% of microbreweries exporting.
In terms of consumption trends, the report shows that beer remains Ireland’s most popular alcoholic drink, with a 47% market share.
Overall, consumption of beer was up 4% between 2013 and 2014.
The report also shows that a higher percentage of consumers are now drinking stout (up from 29.2% - 31.1%) and ale (up from 5.4% - 5.9%).
The IBA has called for the Government to support the sector by reducing the excise burden. Currently, Ireland has the third-highest excise on beer in the EU and it is 11.4 times higher than the excise rate on beer in Germany.
Jonathan McDade, Head of the Irish Brewers Association said: "The Irish Brewers Association’s new report highlights the important role that the brewing sector has in supporting the Irish economy.
"Beer production remains the most important sector within the drinks industry in terms of indigenous manufacturing and providing jobs in major brewing facilities throughout the country.
"As Ireland’s economy continues to recover, the brewing industry has continued to invest in Ireland, with direct employment up 8%. We know that the industry also supports thousands more jobs indirectly, including approximately 4,000 agricultural jobs.
"The Irish beer industry is experiencing a period of exciting development, with new breweries opening across the country and established breweries expanding and investing in new products and facilities.
"In order to maintain the success story of the Irish beer market, the Government must reverse excise on alcohol in the next Budget.
"Beer was hit with a 42% excise increase over the past three years, making our beer excise the third highest in the EU.
"In the UK, 26,000 jobs have been created since 2013, due to a cut in beer duty. The potential for Ireland’s brewing industry is massive if excise is reversed."