Cans of Moxie sit on a table at the annual "Chugging Challenge" at the Moxie Festival in Lisbon Falls, July 14, 2012.

Soft drink giant Coca-Cola is acquiring Moxie, a beloved New England soda brand that is the official state beverage of Maine.

Moxie has been around since the 19th century. It’s flavored with a root extract that gives it a distinctive taste that polarizes drinkers. Coca-Cola said Tuesday it’s acquiring the brand from Coca-Cola of Northern New England, an independent bottling partner of the larger company that’s in Bedford, New Hampshire.

Coca-Cola says bottling of the soda will remain in New Hampshire. A spokeswoman says the company’s goal is to “ensure it stays true to its Northeastern roots.” The spokeswoman says Coca-Cola also sees an opportunity to bring Moxie’s brand to a wider audience.

Coca-Cola declined to provide the price of the sale, which is expected to close this year.

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